Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (and MP for South West Surrey) has agreed to open Claygate’s new £330,000 community clubhouse on Friday 25th May 2012. The new facility will replace the old clubhouse building which is more than 60 years old and in extremely poor condition. The project has been fundraising for nearly two years and the funding level required was reached last August. Building has continued though the Autumn and with the building now secure, the first phase is complete. The fit out, much of which will be achieved through volunteer help, will be carried out throughout the Spring and the building is expected to open in time for the new cricket season at the end of April.   

It is envisaged that the new building will attract a wide range of community groups in addition to the main users – Claygate Cricket Club and Claygate Royals Football Club.

Dominic Raab MP forEsherand Walton who has actively supported the project throughout commented, “In a year which will be dominated by the Olympics, it’s vital that we recognise the efforts of a local community in terms of improving sporting facilities at a very different level.  We are delighted that the Secretary of State has committed to come and open the new building which will be a fitting tribute and recognition for all those who have supported the project financially and all the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring it to life.”

Stephen Wells, Chairman, Claygate Recreation Ground Trust added ” This is the biggest public building to be built in the village for many years and will be a significant step forward in creating an attractive and important community facility for  use and enjoyment for generations to come.

One of the great things about the project has been the reaction and assistance of a whole range of local people. From local government we have received grants from Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Claygate Parish Council, as well as support from the Football Foundation and the Veolia Environmental Trust.

In addition, there has been a variety of other funding support such as commercial sponsorship from local companies, including Grosvenor Billinghurst, and a huge amount raised from events and donations. However £60k of the total is in the form of loans, so we still have a big target to reach the point when the building is debt free .Fundraising will continue therefore for some time.”