Built in 1969 and extended in 1981, the building had no level access or disabled facilities and lacked separate changing facilities for women or girls. It was inaccessible to many would-be users and was nearing the end of its structural lifecycle, so required costly repairs to bring it up to standard.
National Grid’s donation through the Community Grand Fund helped the club deliver the ground floor of its brand new, accessible sports pavilion, which is already providing a range of recreational activities tailored to the needs of the community.
The playing fields are used by families and groups for leisure, social, play and sporting activities, and the facilities are open to all for general recreation.
The development represents the next step in the village’s history. Having been left to the village for recreation in 1938, the playing fields have long played an important role in the community.
Their two main user groups are the cricket club and football clubs. With a history extending back to 1850, Wedmore Cricket Club boasts a membership of 51 adults and 29 youth cricketers. The junior football club is the largest in Sedgemoor. It is home to 21 teams, 283 players and 31 qualified coaches/assistants. The senior football club fields two Saturday teams and a ‘Veterans’ team on Sundays.
We now have excellent changing facilities and a clubhouse to be proud of, open to all our teams and the wider public.
The playing fields are owned and stewarded by two charities, the Fields in Trust and the Wedmore Playing Fields Management Committee. The committee is made up of representatives from the Parish Council, users of the fields and four parish members. Fittingly, the pavilion’s ground floor plan was designed by one of its members to provide access to disabled visitors, alongside great views of the pitches. It incorporates an externally accessed public unisex disabled toilet accessible to all visitors.
Ian Monson, chairman of the managing committee, commented: “The very generous award from National Grid went towards the construction of a brand new, world-class sports pavilion, replacing a dilapidated building that was no longer fit for purpose. We now have excellent changing facilities and a clubhouse to be proud of, open to all our teams and the wider public.”