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For centuries, the simple unassuming village hall has been a faithful servant of rural communities throughout Cornwall and the rest of the country, serving as a meeting place, dance hall, polling station, nursery and wide variety of other uses. Today's modern equivalent is high-tech, eco-friendly and even more multi-purpose, and one of the finest examples in the county, and probably the whole country, now exists at Lanivet. The new Lanivet Parish Community Centre is a wonderful example of local people working together to create a first-class facility catering for the needs of modern village life. Set on a site of more than six acres, at the heart is the hall itself, a two storey multi-purpose building incorporating a main hall, which can be sub-divided, and kitchen, with two meeting rooms and sports changing facilities on the first floor. Outside, there is parking for 60 vehicles, plus spaces for the disabled; an all-weather multi-use games area known as the MUGA; a newly-laid football pitch which is the home of the village's football team; and a smaller training area.
Surrounding the site is the Trim Trail, a tarmac path which has become very popular with walkers, many accompanied by their dogs. Within a very short time after its completion in March 2018, the hall began catering for a wide variety of interests, and that includes yoga, short-mat bowls, dog training, Beavers and Cubs, zumba, sewing and crafts, children's ballet, footcare clinic, astronomy, piloxing, tea and games, junior football, five-a-side football, walking football, and netball. The official opening ceremony was performed by the High Sheriff of Cornwall, Mr Paul Young-Jamieson, on Saturday March 2nd, 2019.
A LONG TIME COMING (but well worth the wait) The story of the new centre goes right back to 1989. The late Mr Les Williams, chairman of Lanivet Parish Council at the time, felt that the village needed a playing field and the land where the new complex has been now been built was the obvious choice. The land was originally owned by the parish church and initially the Diocese had hoped it could be developed for housing, but planning permission was refused. Eventually, Mr Tommy Roberts and the late Mr Roger Sandercock, both trustees of the Lanivet United Charities and members of the parish council, persuaded the United Charities to buy the land. In 2006, the Lanivet Sports and Recreational Trust was formed, consisting of parish councillors, members of the United Charities, and Others. The Trust was originally given a 10-year lease on the land and this was extended in 2015 to 40 years. Lanivet Parish Council agreed to contribute towards the cost of the new car park, on the understanding that it would be a benefit to the whole village. Supervised by Mr Dave Carter and other Trust members, the work was carried out by two local contractors - Jack Kingdon for the ground work, and Henry Cooper for the tarmac surfaces. By 2010 it was felt that the potential existed to include a new community hall, and thus the final part of the story was started. Funding was obviously going to be the big question and Mr Carter was able to give the benefit of his knowledge and experience obtaining grants through the parish council. In 2014 a local survey, partly funded by the parish council, showed that there was good support for a new community hall. Bodmin architect David Hughes was engaged to finalise the design of the new building and obtain planning permission. Mr Carter then started the long and often complicated process of obtaining funds from as many sources as possible, the main one being the National Lottery, which contributed £500,000. The contract to build the new hall was awarded to another local contractor, Jason Searle, and work began in June 2017, with completion the following March. The centre is now in full operation, under the guidance Mr Carter's son-in-law Mr Barry Cornelius, an accountant by profession who helped Mr Carter with many aspects of the grant applications and who has now become the 'public face' of the hall. A former local footballer. Mr Cornelius was also instrumental in obtaining grants from the Football Association and Sport England.
The final word comes from Mr Peter Old, Chairman of Lanivet Sports and Recreational Trust: "It's been a long and often hard road getting to the marvellous facility that now exists in our village and the key to that success has been complete co-operation between the three main organisations - the Lanivet United Charity, Lanivet Parish Council, and Lanivet Sports and Recreational Trust. "Without that close co-operation it's unlikely that this excellent centre would have been created."
TRIBUTES: As a tribute to the contributions made to the new community centre, four men have been officially recognised:
One of the meeting rooms is called The Tom Roberts Room
The postal address of the whole complex is Carters Parc (Dave Carter)
The football pitch and multi-use area are named the Williams Sandercock Sports Area (the late Mr Les Williams and the late Mr Roger Sandercock)