Row over pavilion rages as grant deadline looms

The run-down hut that is currently used by teams in Folkingham.
The run-down hut that is currently used by teams in Folkingham.
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A ROW over the building of a new pavilion in Folkingham is threatening to put paid to a £50,000 grant.

The Football Association has agreed to grant the cash towards the building of a brand new facility on the village playing field, but the lease must be signed and sealed in a week’s time.

As the deadline looms, disagreements between the parish council and the Folkingham Fund-Raising Comittee over the terms of the lease continue.

Fund-raising committee chairman Brian Foreman told an emergency meeting at the village hall last Tuesday that parish councillors are demanding the village football club be legally bound to provide a community room for the village’s younger population.

He said: “That was the original plan when times were better, to provide something for the youth community. The parish council tried to get that legally binding in the lease.”

He added that the club simply cannot afford to cover the cost of creating such a room.

A further stipulation by the parish council is to shorten the lease on the field, which contradicts FA conditions.

Brian said: “When the FA is given a grant they want to see a return. By people using the facilities is how they get something back, seeing youths and seniors playing football.”

During the heated meeting, frustrated FA representative Matt Bartlett told those gathered: “Either this project goes ahead in its current guise and we invest £50,000 in this facility and there’s somewhere warm and dry and somewhere for kids to have a pee, or we leave it and walk away. I can take it or leave it as far as the FA goes.

“I’m behind this football club. If we don’t use this site then we will support the football club to go to another site. This is an opportunity for kids to use this site.”

Several parish councillors attended the meeting, speaking up in support of the project and vowing to “iron out” the issues.

A result of a ballot of villagers’ votes was revealed, with 208 for the pavilion and 14 against.

The parish council will hold an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday in the hope issues can be resolved by Friday’s deadline.

Parish council clerk Brynley Heaven told the Journal yesterday (Thursday) that arguments are ongoing but it is hoped a deal can be reached in time.

He said: “I don’t think it’s over yet. We’re hoping an extraordinary meeting that is within the FA deadline will produce what is known in football terms as a result.”

If given the green light, it is hoped the new pavilion will be built within six months. The facility will have two changing rooms, kitchenette, a referee changing room and disabled access.