By Aaron Sugg, work experience
The project entails the demolition of the existing structure and the construction of a new two-storey community hub and sports pavilion. There are plans for a cafe, clubroom, bar, kitchen, public toilets (including disabled toilets), and baby changing facilities on the ground floor. The second floor will house a large flexible space, which can also convert into two smaller rooms when needed, and will provide space for classes, activities and workshops. The pavilion will also continue to support the sports clubs that currently use Master Park.
The Master Park Management Committee, which has responsibility for both the park and the pavilion, plans for the new building to be available to all. Rooms and facilities will be rented out to local groups and organisations, with the money going towards the upkeep of the park as a whole.
Pammy McNaughton is chair of the Trustees of Master Park:
“Master Park is maintained through the Master Park Charity. It relies on the revenue we generate from events held in the park, and from the pavilion. Unfortunately, the pavilion is currently unfit for purpose and we can’t hire it out, so we have set up the Master Park Pavilion Charity separately to raise the money to rebuild it.”
The new community hub will also support wider health and wellbeing initiatives. The Master Park team are looking to partner with deserving local groups and charities and offer access to the pavilion’s facilities free of charge.
Oxted councillor Cameron McIntosh stated:
“I am particularly enthusiastic about the project’s aim of creating a community fridge/food bank option, a service that is limited south of the M25 in the Tandridge area.”
Sustainability features include an air source heat pump, LED lighting, a rainwater harvesting system and photovoltaic panels, which use solar radiation to produce electricity.
Your Fund Surrey is delivered by Surrey County Council. The £1.86m comes from their Large Community Projects pot, which is allocated to ventures ‘in excess of £10k that will provide wide community benefit.’
Successful projects must be supported by a substantial number of local people, who can leave their thoughts on the Your Fund Surrey website. Master Park received over 1,000 comments from residents who believe that Oxted will benefit from a purpose-built community centre:
“Master Park is a community hub and is well used….The new pavilion would enable this hub to be used in all weathers and for multiple purposes. It would add significantly to the entire community.”
On granting the money, the largest amount they have awarded to a charity, Your Fund Surrey said that “the Master Park project is exactly what the fund was created for.”
Planning permission for the hub has already been granted, and the build is expected to take 12 months. The Master Park Pavilion Charity has now raised nearly £2.5m of the total project cost of £3m, including a £90k grant from Oxted Parish Council, and £500k from Tandridge District Council.
However, the team has only six months to raise the rest, or Your Fund Surrey could withdraw their offer. They are appealing to local residents and businesses for help.
“We would like to ask people to become our ambassadors, to help us find the remainder of the money so the project can go ahead.”
You can donate via Master Park’s website.