A campaign to raise £1m for a new pavilion at Fernhurst has suffered a major setback.
Trustees of ‘Pavilion 2020’ have been refused financial help from the Football Foundation.
Chairman John Mitchell said local fundraising had been going ‘great guns’ but added: “The lion’s share has to come from big, institutional grants and, unfortunately, the Football Foundation has said ‘no’.
“They told us they considered the current pavilion to be ‘adequate’. We, of course, disagree and are still lobbying the other sporting foundations along with charitable trusts and councils. Even if it was ‘adequate’ it is not what Fernhurst deserves or needs.”
“We also have a sense from wider conversations that our village is being unfairly ‘marked down’ because it is perceived as very prosperous,” added Mr Mitchell.
“As with most villages, this is not the case but it certainly seems to be the misconception of some who live in towns.”
Trustees were delighted with the local support, he said, and pledges and donations totalled £145,000.
Trustees were now examining a ‘plan B’, said Mr Mitchell – a single storey building with a slightly enlarged footprint extending onto the two previous extensions to give enough changing rooms for all the sports. The target would become £500,000.
“It’s disappointing. A beautiful, new building with balconies and more social areas was the ideal but we will have to cut our cloth. I now know from the support that if Fernhurst has to do this on its own, it can.
“The Football Foundation decision is a big setback but we are not even at half-time yet. The arguments in favour of Pavilion 2022 are stronger than ever and we remain determined to build for the future.”
A fundraising ‘Legends’ cricket match, black tie ball and a major running event are planned. A rewards scheme for pledges and donations is at pavilion2022.org.uk