A COMMUNITY group launched 12 years ago with the vision of helping to build a modern leisure centre in Matlock made its final contribution this week – a cheque for £98,000.
MARS – the Matlock and Area Sports and Recreation Group – presented the money to the chairman of the District of Derbyshire Dales, Cllr Judith Twigg at Arc Leisure Matlock.
In total, MARS has given almost £200,000 to the project thanks to a substantial donation from Twiggs of Matlock and a grant from Matlock Town Council.
Tuesday evening’s ceremony also included the unveiling of a supporters’ wall in the Arc reception. It lists everyone who contributed to MARS’s Buy a Brick Campaign. Group chairman Barrie Tipping said: “Our task 12 years ago was simple – to raise awareness in the locality about the need for a new facility, to liaise with the district council about its content and design and to raise funds to prove to national funders that local people wanted a new centre.
“I would like to thank those who stood with me at the various Victorian markets and street collections arguing our case, particularly in the early years when all the doubting Thomases were decrying our efforts for Matlock and the Dales.”
Arc has recorded more than 144,000 visits since it opened five months ago.