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Phoenix Gym pushing to raise £1m for new site

A push by Phoenix Gymnastics to raise £1 million in six months is on.

The gymnastics club, which has been running for more than 35 years, was granted planning permission in August last year to move to a new site in Fifield.

As part of the fund-raising effort, the club launched a book sale on Monday at its current site in Windsor Road, Water Oakley, which is due to be demolished.

The sale was the idea of centre director Lynn Bushell, who was getting rid of books in a house move.

She was surprised by the response – the sale raised £110 in the first two days – and will keep it going for a few weeks.

Lynn said the club is now asking members and their families to undertake their own fund-raising efforts to help the cause.

So far the club has £800,000 towards the new centre; it needs £1.8 million for the build and another £200,000 for new equipment.

In September the gym secured £450,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s improvement fund.

“I don’t think people believed it was going to happen,” said Lynn.

“This will be some-thing for generations of children.

“Running for so long, we have seen generations of people come through, from parents to grandparents.

“It is hard raising money as a charity and we hope that we have meant enough to people in the local area.”

The centre has also brought on board a professional fundraiser to explore all avenues, including companies and grant schemes.

The new site in Fifield will be leased to Phoenix Gym by the landowners Summerleaze Ltd, for £300 a year.

Summerleaze chairman Peter Prior said: “We hope that the new site will enable Phoenix Gymnastics to create vital opportunities for young people to get involved in sports.”

The gym has also set up a fundraising page which can be found at www.justgiving.com/phoenixgymnasticsclub

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