Planning for big move as new Fry Club takes shape

Published on: 06 Sep 2014

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With its new £4 million building taking shape, plans to move the Fry Club’s activities to their new home are being drawn up.

The bulk of the work on the new building’s steel structure has now been finished, giving the first glimpse of what the venue will look like when it is completed in April next year as part of the Somerdale development.

Work began on the project in May when the ground was cleared and foundations laid for the new facility, which will include five function rooms, changing rooms, sports bar with skittle alley and a multi-activity meeting space for community groups.

The site will also have 13 full-size football pitches, including an FA-standard flood-lit pitch, four cricket pitches and a nine-hole golf course, while the existing tennis courts and bowling green will remain. Kevin Thatcher, chairman of the Fry Club, said it was exciting to see the progress made so far but that there was still a great deal to be done.

He said: “Everything is on track and we’re expecting to be able to start moving things in by the end of April next year. We’re hoping the new main football pitch will be ready at more or less the same time.

“As the new building becomes available we will gradually transfer activities across and we’ll be working on a plan over the next few weeks looking at how this happens to keep business continuity. We’re really looking forward to getting into the new building and starting life down there.”

The club currently has about 1,400 members, including about 250 juniors, and offers a wide range of sports, and Mr Thatcher said he hoped to appeal to an even wider audience in future.

He added: “At the same time as moving into the new building, we’ll be creating a charitable trust to manage the club and a company that will manage the day-to-day running on its behalf, and we’re hoping to be able to apply for charitable grants which we weren’t able to before. It’s a whole new beginning.”

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