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Ambitious sports hall plans unveiled

PUBLISHED: 08:45 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 03 July 2010

A Norfolk school could soon become one of the top sporting sites in the county after these ambitious plans to build a £1.2m sports hall were unveiled.

Caister High School hopes that its new hall at Caister, near Yarmouth, will attract international badminton and basketball players and trampoliners when it opens next autumn.

A Norfolk school could soon become one of the top sporting sites in the county after these ambitious plans to build a £1.2m sports hall were unveiled.

Caister High School hopes that its new hall at Caister, near Yarmouth, will attract international badminton and basketball players and trampoliners when it opens next autumn.

But the scheme may rely on local people and businesses pulling together to help raise cash for the building, which will replace the school's old cramped gym.

Despite a £600,000 funding shortfall head teacher George Denby is confident the scheme will be completed in time and that it will boost his students' already proven sporting prowess.

Norfolk County Council has already said it will provide half of the money for the £1.2m build.

And last night Mr Denby was examining ways to secure the rest of the money for the hall, which will also be opened up to the local community at night times and holidays.

Although most of the additional funding should come from a county council loan and capital funds, the school is launching an appeal to raise the rest.

Mr Denby said: “We need the new hall because to say the least our current 1960s gym is dire and not ideal for our 800 pupils.

“The hall will be something that the community also needs as it will benefit from improved sports facilities.”

When the new hall opens next autumn it should be ideally placed to take advantage of surge of sporting optimism generated by the country's success at the Beijing Olympics.

Mr Denby said: “The specifications of the hall will mean that international events can be held there in badminton, trampolining basketball and other sports.”

So far the school has spent £20,000 on drafting up the hall plans and building work should start by the end of next month.

The county council funding of £600,000 is part of the authority's £200m capital projects investment in education.

Rosalie Monbiot, Norfolk County councillor responsible for children's services, said: “The project at Caister High School will provide fantastic sports facilities for students and the wider community.

“The creation of the new sports hall will help inspire sporting success in the town's youngsters and help to promote sport in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012.

“We are delighted to be able to support the school with a £600,000 contribution.”

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