After three years of intensive fundraising, YMCA East Surrey began work this week on their new Inclusive Sports Facility.
“We are absolutely thrilled to get to this point,” said YMCA Chief Executive, Ian Burks. “The project has taken more than six years of planning, so it’s an immensely exciting time for us as we finally dig the first foundations of this innovative new building on our Princes Road site in Redhill.”
“Once completed, the centre will have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of many people across our local community, including those who are most inactive and have previously struggled to find suitable facilities.”
Over £2.4 million has been raised for the project, including an immense £495,000 from fundraising YMCA Challenge events. Last year, 2,218 inspirational people took part in these events, walking, running and cycling to help raise money. YMCA East Surrey is hugely grateful to everyone who did so and to the Trusts and Foundations who have given their financial support to the build.
Since opening 25 years ago, the YMCA Sports & Community Centre has been extremely popular with local residents, resulting in an increasing demand on the space available. The redevelopment will include improvements and an extension to the existing building to help meet these needs and the building of a new Inclusive Sports Facility over the outside sports pitch area to provide additional disability sport and physical activity sessions.
“Last year, more than 12,000 children, young people and adults benefited from our support and these numbers are set to rise considerably over the next year as we gain the space expand and develop a number of exciting new programmes,” said Ian Burks.
A further 1,750 people will be able to enjoy over 70 new sessions of fitness classes, disability sport, exercise referral and health promotion every week with the opening of the new centre.
Sunninghill Construction Co. Limited have been contracted to complete the building work following a successful tender process.
Chris Brewer, Chairman of YMCA East Surrey, explained:
“The designs have been developed in conjunction with CF Architects to sympathetically extend and blend into the existing centre. We are aiming to keep the centre open throughout the construction period and to keep disruption to a minimum during the works.”
Ian Pearce is Sunninghill’s Construction Manager.
“It will be a challenging build but a very meaningful one as we see this specifically designed and worthwhile facility through to completion,” Ian said this week. “It’s been fascinating to listen to the people who will be the end users of the centre and begin to understand exactly what it will mean to them to be able to access these fully inclusive amenities.”
With the completion of the state-of-the-art facility, YMCA East Surrey aim to create a centre of excellence for disability sport, health and wellbeing for the whole community. The new building will also offer improved facilities for children attending out of school childcare and recreational activities, as well as enhancing the facilities for those attending the gym and fitness classes.
A further £250,000 is still needed to fully complete the build and fundraising will continue throughout the year.
The project is due to be completed by the end of September 2018.