Plans to bring Soham’s Walter Gidney Pavilion into the 21st century by extending and modernising the building have been submitted for approval.
Soham Town Council put forward the proposal to renovate its “outdated” facility, which is located by the town’s recreation ground off Fountain Lane, to East Cambridgeshire District Council.
The plans, drawn up by Cambridge-based architects Saunders Boston, will see the western end of the existing pavilion, which dates back to the 1960s, replaced with a state-of-the-art hall, kitchen, office, toilets and storage space.
A viewing terrace will be located to the south of the new extension, which the main hall will open onto, complete with a canopy, steps and wheelchair access that will lead to a newly-created grass area to accommodate seating and tables in good weather.
The eastern side, which currently includes a council chamber, separate hall and council offices, will undergo some general maintenance and renovation.
Outdoor improvements to the pavilion will provide better pedestrian and cycle access leading to the facility, including a wider road to allow for two cars to pass and a dedicated pedestrian walkway.
Thirty new cycle parking spaces will be installed and an extra 16 car parking spaces, bringing the total number to 40 .
A report by the architects said the pavilion’s outdated facilities had left it under-used by the local community.
“The proposed facility will not only invigorate the existing pavilion, but will moreover provide first class, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facilities for the benefit of the local community as a whole,” the report said.
“The proposals will create a much-improved council chamber and offices, and provide accommodation that will become far more attractive to private individuals or parties to let.
“This will in turn increase the council’s revenue.”
The report added: “This proposal will create a much-needed facility in the centre of town that will be accessible to all parts of the community, who will hopefully feel a sense of pride towards the upgraded and extended pavilion.”
The report said a public consultation, carried out by Soham Town Council in June, revealed “overwhelming” support for the proposal from residents and local businesses.
To view the plans, or have your say on the development, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.