Haslemere Hearld – Article

New pavilion appeal hits £100k mark

By Farnham Herald in Local People

FERNHURST’S ‘Pavilion 2022’ appeal is celebrating hitting its first landmark moment – raising £100,000.

The campaign, which was launched in May, aims to raise £1million for a state-of-the-art sports pavilion.

The ‘Pavilion 2022’ appeal, if successful, will add the finishing touch to the improvements already made to Fernhurst Recreation Ground, which has given a huge boost to sports participation.

After 50 years of service and with almost 800 members, the existing pavilion (above) is creaking at the seams. Built in 1971 and extended twice in the 1980s, it can only accommodate 100 people and Fernhurst Recreation Ground Trust (FGT) wants a flagship building to serve the village and wider community for the next 50 years.

Of the 800 members, 300 are juniors, who now play football, cricket, tennis and stoolball at Fernhurst’s Recreation Ground.

Players come from Haslemere, Lodsworth, Midhurst, Petworth, Camelsdale, Grayshott and Hindhead to use the facility, which offers a well-drained football pitch alongside three tennis courts and cricket nets.

FRGT aims to celebrate the success of its appeal on its 50th anniversary in 2021, by demolishing the existing facility and replacing it with a brand new building to open the following year.

FRGT trustee Bill Gourlay said: “We’re delighted by the overwhelming support so far. We’ve hit the first landmark of £100,000 secured from private donors, which is an important step in the right direction.

“We need a building which is multi-functional but also sympathetic to the village green. Our early discussions with South Downs planning queried whether our ridge line needed to be as high as it was, so we’ve finished 2017 with a set of new drawings.

“They still meet our original design brief but the roof height drops by 20 per cent. The current pavilion simply can’t cope with the increase in numbers at all the sports clubs.

“So 2018 will be a big year for the fundraising campaign if the target of 2022 is to be hit.”

Fellow trustee John Mitchell added: “We still have a mountain to climb.

“The whole village needs to get behind us, not just by supporting fundraising activities, but by contributing ideas and voluntary work.

“This whole charitable, non-profit making project has depended on the work of a few volunteers.

“The beneficiaries will be the sports men, women and especially the young and children of our community in Fernhurst. We need your support.”

The trust is now seeking grants and donations from Sport England, charitable trusts, local councils, businesses and individuals.

• To pledge or donate email pavilion 2022@frgt.org.uk