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Application for new pavilion at Paultons Cricket Club in Copythorne submitted following suspected arson attack

A NEW Forest cricket club is hoping to rise from the ashes after submitting plans to replace the pavilion which was destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

Paultons Cricket Club, in Copythorne, has handed in the plan to New Forest District Council following the devastating fire in January last year.

It hopes to have the new pavilion ready next year but must still raise £100,000 of funding, despite money coming in from local organisations.

The fire devastated the club
The fire devastated the club

As reported in the A&T, a van was driven on to the pitch near the clubhouse in Copythorne and set alight, with the blaze spreading to a changing and pool room.

Club secretary Nicola Morris told the A&T: “The fire hasn’t beaten us and won’t beat us this year either.

“We turned our score hut into a bar and used temporary facilities like toilets and changing rooms.

“That will happen this year too but our members are so understanding and just get on with it.”

The damage was so extensive the club said it had “no choice” but to demolish the 65-year-old pavilion and rebuild it.

The proposed plan
The proposed plan

An appeal for the new pavilion has so far reached £20,000 with the community also rallying round to help.

NFDC gave the club a £40,000 grant towards the rebuild, and recently Hounsdown School raised £400 from a non-school uniform day for the cause.

Ms Norris said:”We are still about £100,000 short after the insurance payout, fundraising and grants received so far. We are still fundraising and applying for grants and the NFDC grant of £40,000 was massive.

“We are in discussions with the English Cricket Board as to what support they can provide in the form of grants or loans.

“We are also waiting for a bill of quantities from the contractor so we can know exactly what we need for the build and start to approach companies for donations or cost price goods.”

Offering a “massive thank you” to everyone who has helped, she added:”We had so many offers when the fire happened, so we just need to remind people.”

The pavilion was 65 years old
The pavilion was 65 years old

The application for the new pavilion said it was a “modest structure” near the ground’s access from Whitemoor Lane.

The new club house will have “improved facilities for players and visitors”, it said, and will be slightly larger than the original.

Immediately after the fire club chair Mark Lamb said the entire membership had been left “absolutely gutted”.

The club has been described as a “focal point” for the local community with three adult sides and several youth teams.

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