The Taradale Bridge Club has played its hand and finally come up trumps.
After three years hunting for new premises for their 187-member club, the first sod has been turned at the new building site at Park Island.
Club president Jo Hayes says they are thrilled and relieved to have found a new venue.
"After three years, we can hardly wait."
Jo says their searching and publicity didn't uncover suitable premises, so decided they would have to build their own.
"We applied to the Napier City Council for a lease of reserve land on which to build and this was granted in January 2020. Since then we have been having plans drawn up, gathering quotes, choosing a builder, applying for grants to make the build achievable, applying for resource consent, etc."
In the meantime, the Napier City Country Music Club contacted the bridge club to show their interest in joining them in the new building.
"Like us, they continue to struggle to find suitable premises. We have contacted many other clubs and groups and have nine other potential users. The building will be called The Taradale Bridge Club Community Hub."
More than 100 people, including club members and sponsors, gathered at the site last week for the turning of the first sod.
"We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT), Lotteries, Rodney Green Foundation, Lion Foundation, Core Steel and our members for their generosity," Jo says.
U3A Taradale president Keith Rowe says their organisation is also hoping to use the new clubrooms.
"This could potentially be our base," he says.
Jo says with the new rooms being built adjacent to the Central Football Association building, they may also use the new venue for board meetings.
"It's quite exciting. We've been contacting people interested in utilising the facilities."
Part of their fundraising has also been to purchase any additional materials they may need such as a big whiteboard.
Builder Elsdon Moore says they had been looking forward to getting the build under way.
"It's been so nice to see the smiles on everyone's faces — look at the joy."
ECCT chief executive David Clapperton says it was great to see the start of a multi-use facility.
"Our trust is keen to see the benefits from the grant we made."
The building will have two main rooms, each with independent access to the kitchen, toilets and the entrance.
Jo says, "We have a large bridge club committee so we can have the door opened between these rooms for bigger meetings and tournaments."
■ Anyone interested in using the building for their club can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org