A SPORTS club is close to its fundraising target for a clubhouse extension following the success of an online appeal.

Bedale Sports Club and Community Centre, which is home to six sports serving the town and surrounding villages, is hoping to extend its Adrian Grayson Function Room.

The project comes after significant improvements to the social area, parking provision, patio, cricket pitch and croquet lawns, kitchen, changing and shower rooms, in recent years.

The increased membership and popularity of the facility has meant that the function room is not big enough, so the decision was made a few months ago to build an extension, almost doubling the space available.

Fundraising started in May, and grants were received from Awards for All, the Jack Brunton Trust, the Bedale and Villages Community Forum, the Broadacres Community Development Fund, the North Yorkshire County Council Locality Budget, Sport England and the Bedale Cooperative.

In December, the extension appeal went live via the Crowdfunding website for four weeks, with Sport England match funding up to the limit of £10,000. This figure was reached with a few days to spare, with donations coming in from current players and members but especially from past members of the association who wanted to be part of the fundraising campaign.

Chairman Martyn Coombs said: "When we launched the Crowdfunding scheme, I was slightly sceptical that we would reach the £10,000 target but as the days rolled by, it was obvious there was such widespread support for the scheme.

"We are now very close to the £65,000 we need to extend the function room and I am sure we will be in a good position financially when the building work commences at the end of this month. Needless to say, we are indebted to all the organisations and players and members both past and present, who have given us such fantastic support.

"Everyone who donated to the Crowdfunding appeal will have their names on an honours board but there were 22 anonymous donations made. If anyone who donated anonymously wants their name on the board, can they let me know on 07885 228097 or by email to martync55@gmail.com."