Gymnasts' backflips of joy at club's big plans

Essex County Standard: Gymnasts' backflips of joy at club's big plans Gymnasts' backflips of joy at club's big plans

HUNDREDS of gymnasts are doing backflips in celebration after a long fundraising campaign to allow their club to nearly double in size was successful.

Work will start next month on a £450,000 project to expand Colchester School of Gymnastics now it has secured a £174,000 grant.

From next summer, the club – with 850 members and a 1,200- strong waiting list – will be able to teach a further 750 youngsters and adults.

The developer contribution awarded by Colchester Council, coupled with a £200,000 loan from the Charities Aid Foundation Bank and four years of fundraising, means the project can finally go ahead.

Manager Andrea Cook said she was also indebted to Steve Clarke, at SSC Builders, who had looked at the plans and helped bring the construction costs down.

She said: “We’re very excited.

I’d just like to see the actual building going up now.

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s desperately needed because we are very full.

“Our main reasons for being able to do this are the council and SSC Builders. Without them, we really couldn’t have started this off at all.”

The school offers classes from beginner to elite level. The extension will also allow teachers to work with more local schools.

Building work to create a second, connected gym will take between four and six months.

The council grant is money from the firms redeveloping the former Royal London sports club site, near the Brinkley Grove Road centre.

Martin Hunt, council deputy leader, said: “I am delighted we have been able to help Colchester School of Gymnastics with their plans to expand.

“The club is a great Colchester success story. The long waiting list is a testament to the club’s success.

“It is fantastic that so many more gymnasts, of all abilities, will be able to enjoy the new facilities.”

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