Village lands a golden reward from next year’s Olympics

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MENDLESHAM is already on a winner from next year’s Olympics with news that it has won a £50,000 grant towards much-needed improvements and an extension to the playing fields.

It will allow the parish council to buy four more acres of land and resite its two football pitches, one of which suffers from flooding, causing match cancellations.

But this week the council was told it was one of six East Anglian playing fields sharing £270,000 from Sport England’s Playing Fields Olympic Legacy Fund.

All the land will now be protected from developers for 25 years, leaving a lasting legacy for the Mendlesham community.

Parish council chairman David Nunn said: “We are thrilled to bits. It is excellent for the village. Now we have got to get on with it to make sure the money is handed over by March 31.”

The grant match-funds money raised in the village, bringing the overall project cost to more than £100,000, said Cllr Nunn.

Fellow councillor Roger Drew has acted as project officer. He said: “It will allow us to extend the playing fields which serve the community and primary school. The funds will help us carry out much-needed improvements to one of the pitches. This is affected by flooding because of poor drainage meaning matches often have to be cancelled.

“Having more playing field land available will mean we can go ahead with plans which will improve the leisure facilities available for all Mendlesham residents.

“These include improving the other football pitch on site and adding a cricket square.”

He added: “We expect that having a good quality football pitch will reduce the number of cancelled football matches and will result in more people participating in activities offered by Mendlesham Football Club and others.”