A £500,000 community project ten years in the making has finally been completed and was officially opened at the weekend.
Rattlesden Community Council has been tirelessly fund-raising for a decade to build a community pavilion and children’s play area in the village.
On Saturday, council members organised a bonfire bonanza to mark its official opening.
David Ruffley, Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket MP, and Mid Suffolk district councillor Penny Otton attended the event.
The pavilion opened for use in August, and the new children’s playground was completed and opened on Friday.
Sam Sharma, Rattlesden Community Council member, said: “Having worked so hard on it it’s fantastic to see it being used by families and local people in the village.
“It has been hard work, a long hard slog, but now it’s brilliant.”
The new pavilion boasts a large main hall, and a balcony space, as well as a kitchen, bar, changing rooms, toilets and store room.
The project has been funded by a number of grants and donations, as well as through fund-raising by the village.
Neil Cole, chairman of the Rattlesden Community Council, said: “We have been saving for a long time and managed to raise £55,000 by holding events such as barn dances, cycle rides, summer balls and fireworks.”
Funding also came from the Lottery, Biffaward, Suffolk Environmental Trust, Suffolk Acre, Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council. The playground was funded through the Community Spaces project, as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces initiative, and is managed by Groundwork UK.
Next Saturday people are invited to take part in a tree planting day between 11am and 4pm.
Donations towards the trees can be made at Rattlesden Primary School. People have also been invited to sponsor their own family tree. Saplings for the planting have also been donated by the Woodland Trust.