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Phoenix Gym launches fundraising bid for new venue in Fifield

Phoenix Gymnastics Club launched its bid to raise the estimated £2million it needs to build a new state-of-the-art facility this week.

A party was held at Dorney Lake on Tuesday in the hope of garnering financial support for the club’s new development north of Longlea Nursing Home in Fifield.

The plans were met with considerable opposition from  the Oakley Green and Fifield Community Association (OGAFCA) and Bray Parish Council when they were first proposed in late 2015.

Flooding was one of the biggest concerns and, when the Royal Borough approved the plans in March 2016, it imposed drainage conditions.

These works were completed about three weeks ago.

Centre director Lynn Bushell said: “We’re at the stage now where it’s only money that’s stopping us.”

“We hope that what we’ve got is an attractive proposition for investors and donors.”

She added: “A lot of the locals were unsure about the change, it’s horrible change when you don’t know it’s coming. We want to be part of the community.”

Chairman of OGAFCA, Bill Collier, said: “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible from both sides. Lynn has been advising people not to drive though the village.”

So far the club, which is currently based in Water Oakley, has raised about £350,000 from individual and community donations which has been spent on the preparation of the build including design, planning and surveys.

It has also secured a pledge of £450,000 from Sport England, which it will receive if it reaches its fundraising target.

To find out more about the club go to www.phoenixgym.co.uk/.

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