Debden Pavilion Project
We did it
On 16th December 2020 we successfully raised £277 ( + est. £45.00 Gift Aid ) with 8 supporters in 36 days

To build a new 'Sports For All' pavilion for the village of Debden in Essex and to raise capital costs of £25,000 to kickstart the project.

by Debden New Pavilion Project in Debden, England, United Kingdom

The Project

Debden Recreation Ground Trust needs to build a new 'Sports For All'  pavilion to meet current and future user requirements, to hold sports activities and events for everyone on Debden Recreation Ground.  

Debden has an old sports pavilion built in 1972. It provided two team changing rooms, officials changing, toilets and kitchen. Over the past 38 years, it has been regularly used by the football club and other clubs who visit from the local area, including a cricket, rounders and tennis club, plus use for village events and fetes.

However, the existing changing facilities are poor due to their age and condition. The pavilion does not meet current standards in relation to accessible toilet and shower provision and safeguarding. There are no baby-change, disabled facilities or disabled access.


The old pavilion is  very dirty with no heating. The antiquated water supply services often leak and are not compliant with current standards.  Electricity supply is poor and by overhead cable. There are no wi-fi or security facilities.  It has become unloved, fallen into disrepair and is currently closed.

The Plan

Debden Recreation Ground and the parish council concluded that the old pavilion should be demolished and replaced by a new build which provides modern facilities, including an accessible toilet, committee room and separate showers for each team changing room and referee. The new pavilion would be more suitable for meeting current needs and expectations.  

The plan is to build adjacent to the village hall, car park, tennis courts and in keeping with the rural location. Being in the very hub of the village centre will be of mutual benefit to the community and other nearby amenities. For example, the pavilion could be used in conjunction with the village hall for larger sports and local events.

The Project will consist of 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Fundraising for surveys, architects fees and preliminaries
  • Phase 2:  Fundraising for Capital Costs
  • Phase 3: Appoint Contactor and build to complete Autumn 2021

Site Plan


The Design

A warm, accessible, light, energy efficient (low carbon footprint), sustainable "Sports For All" facility for the local community and future generations. 

1603060273_pav_elevation_and_floor_plan.jpgWhat we've achieved in 2020:

  • Architects - Plater Claiborne, were appointed Feb 2020. Planning was submitted 1st April 2020.
  • Uttlesford District Council awarded planning permission - August 2020. 
  • A cost plan was drawn up by Dudley Smith Partnership - September 2020, with an estimated build total of £355,600
  • Persimmon Community Champions have donated £1000
  • Debden Parish Council have reserves of £20,000, earmarked for the project
  • We have contacted Sports England and The Football Association who have advised us on changing room regulations and recommendations..

Debden Pavilion Project sub-committee has been formed involving local residents and Debden Parish Council, to project manage the scheme.  The next phase is fundraising  and the aim is to start building in early 2021. Committee members include people with backgrounds in PR, marketing, law, journalism, quantity surveyance, chartered surveyance, banking, construction and building.

The User Groups


  • Debden Tennis Club
  • Saffron Walden Community Youth Team
  • Debden Tennis Club
  • Boot Camp
  • DebdenCycle
  • Tai Chi
  • Debden Rounders
  • Debden Fete Committee
  • Debden Girlguides

"Debden tennis club would welcome a modern pavilion as the nearby village hall is often not available for their use" - David Rose, Chair Debden Tennis Club. 

Local residents have indicated they would like to start a cricket club next year.

Every summer DebdenCycle organise a 35 or 50 mile race in aid of local charities. Events have attracted over 200 participants. Completely volunteer run and supported by local businesses, DebdenCycle ensures that 100% of entry fees goes to a local charities such as, The Felix Fund, and have raised £9000, to date. Debden Pavilion provides a base, starting and finishing point for the event.


Organiser of DebdenCycle - Brian Lindsell

1604962023_start.jpg1604961990_carver_barracks.jpgOver 200 cyclists of all ages took part in 2019.

The Beneficiaries

A new sports pavilion will create a more neighbourly and stronger community. It will offer a safe environment, create better lives and health opportunities for the local people in the area. 

Benefits will be:

  • Physical fitness and team building skills.
  • Helping children and youth fulfil their potential and engage in sport within a safe environment
  • Improved mental health and well-being.
  • Improve the health of all ages and generations. 
  • Sport can be used to develop the capability, performance and engagement of a community.
  • Supports equality and diversity for residents and trainers
  • Those with special needs and disabilities will at last, be able to use the new facilities.
  • Small business such as PT/Boot Camp/etc can hire the pavilion creating (self) employment opportunities.
  • The project will be a sustainable development, using green or harvested energy from Air Source heat and Solar Panel technology. It will also capture rainwater and be economical to run and maintain,
  • Creating a community asset.


We need to raise £330,600 to complete the project, but for this campaign we want to raise £25,000 to kickstart Phase 2, which is to fundraise for capital costs, to start the build.

Applications for grants and the creation of local schemes, will start immediately to work towards achieving our goal. We are hopeful that local events can be organised in Spring 2021 - post pandemic, to engage the community in our fundraising campaign.

Sponsorship from local and national businesses, would be very welcome to help reduce costs. We estimate we could make savings of up to £100,000, which would reduce the total cost of the project to £250,000. See rewards for sponsorship.


A note about COVID-19  Communities have pulled together and become stronger than ever during the pandemic. We have helped and supported each other through challenging times. Never has it been more important to stay safe and healthy. This has sparked new health and fitness schemes to be launched, including:

  • Sports England 'Return To Play: Small Grants and Active Together'
  • ‘Better Health’ Campaign - Let's Do This'
  • Essex County Council 'Stop Swap and Go'
  • British Cycling 'Places To Ride' 

All have been recently launched this year, to kickstart the health and well being of the nation. These are a strong indicators of proof of need.

Staying in Touch

We are on social media (we would love you to follow us), with regular updates in our local press newspapers and village magazine Debden Parish Pump -

This Pavilion Project will strengthen the local community, improve fitness, confidence, mental health, well being and enable people to have a better quality of life.

We have some great rewards on offer including fitness incentives, Christmas Hamper raffle and a long weekend stay on the coast in North Norfolk. Donate as much as you can so we can achieve our dream. 

A huge thank you for your help and support - April Gardner - Trustee, Debden Recreation Ground.

Debden Recreation Ground Trust are a registered charity: 1097367 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£500 or more

Sponsorship engraved stone.

Perfect for companies or organisations to offer their support and donation, which is set in stone forever. The stone slabs will be set in the pathway to the entrance of the pavilion - as a walk of fame. Special memories, memorials or messages are also welcome.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

It may be a small amount to some but its a huge deal to us. We will make sure your name is mentioned on a small plaque inside the pavilion.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

We will make sure your name is mentioned on a small plaque inside the pavilion.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

We will make sure your name is mentioned on a small plaque inside the pavilion.

£30 or more

0 of 1 claimed

One to One Pilates Session

A One to One Pilates Session either via zoom during lockdown or by appointment after lockdown is lifted.

£30 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Tennis lesson

One to one tennis lesson with a qualified coach at Debden Tennis Club

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A bottle of Prosecco, just in time for Christmas! We will make sure your name is mentioned on a small plaque inside the pavilion.

£50 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Group Tennis Lesson of up to 6 people

Please note this will be post Lockdown and once it is safe for Tennis courts to open again

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Christmas Hamper

A lovely traditional Hamper in time for Christmas! Delivered to your door, by 18th Dec 2020.

£500 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Long weekend in Norfolk

3 night stay in a lovely self catering cottage in Old Hunstanton - sleeps up to 6, and a 5 minute walk from a gorgeous beach. Off peak only and subject to availability.

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