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Matthew Hancock
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Step closer for Soccer Centre Project

Saturday, 23rd November 2002.

A MAJOR scheme to create a new Football Centre of Excellence at Puddlebrook and sell off the existing Haverhill Rovers ground for housing has been moved forward by councillors.

The centre would cost more than 2 million to develop but it is hoped to attract up to 1 million in funding from the Football Foundation.

Members of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's Cabinet this week approved the preparation of a funding bid for the project, as well as an assessment of the option of disposing of Hamlet Croft for housing development.

A report to the Cabinet said a feasibility study had been done into the development at Puddlebrook, which would provide a new home for Haverhill Rovers, as well as community facilities for coaching youth, women's, girls and junior football.

To date funding had not been available to take the plan any further. However, since the Football Foundation came into being in 2001, it had become the main grant-giving body for the sport, and had indicated that it might be able to help with major grant funding.

Haverhill Rovers need to improve facilities to stay in the Jewson League, but the Football Stadia Improvement Fund has refused to fund improvements at Hamlet Croft.

The report to the Cabinet concluded the scheme provided an opportunity to create a new ground for Haverhill Rovers as well as community facilities.

It said: "Haverhill Community Football Project will provide coaching and social facilities, changing rooms and pitches and enable a high quality football development programme to be introduced into Haverhill for junior, youth, women's and girls football, in addition to a new home for Haverhill Rovers, one of only two senior clubs in the borough."

Haverhill Weekly News

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