Football club to rise from the ashes of pavilion arson blaze

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The aftermath of the fire at Clayon Pavilion - Credit: Archant

Work has began to rebuild a sports pavilion which was gutted in a devastating fire two years ago.

On Monday contractors were at Claydon Pavilion in Gorleston, home to Shrublands FC and which was ravaged by a blaze in August 2019.

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The roof was destroyed in the fire - Credit: Archant

The fire, believed to have been started deliberately on a nearby bench, led to an online fundraising drive by Shrublands, which saw thousands of pounds worth of football kits and games equipment lost in the blaze at Southtown Common.

This week's work follows Great Yarmouth Borough Council working with Shrublands FC, the Claydon Pavilion Community Association and other key partners to secure funding from the Premier League and The FA and the government's Football Foundation for the rebuild.

Once finished the pavilion will have toilet facilities with disabled access and a community room as well as changing rooms and a food eatery area.

A statement from Shrublands FC said: "As a club we are pleased for this announcement after what has been a difficult couple of years since the arson attack on Southtown Pavilion back in 2019.

Players of all ages from Shrublands FC training at Southtown Common, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie

Youngsters train at Shrublands FC - Credit: Archant

"The club and community will now be able to benefit from the new pavilion facilities.

"Players and the local community will be able to enjoy better quality facilities which will represent a significant improvement to the area and enable the club's growth as we continue to support local children and adults in grassroots football."

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The club's statement went on to thank all the club’s volunteers and all associated supporters that had helped it to to gain the approval for the funding.

Andy Grant, chairman of the borough council's housing and neighbourhoods committee, was delighted to see the work start.

He said: “The Claydon Pavilion is an important community asset for the residents of Great Yarmouth, which has been sorely missed by the residents and youth clubs since the arson attack happened.

“Thanks to the funding secured, the football club and the wider community will soon have a new and improved open space, which the entire community can enjoy.”

Shrublands FC has youth teams from U7's to U18's who play in the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League and three adults teams who play in local leagues.