YEARS of dedicated hard work will pay off this weekend when a North Yorkshire village unveils its £120,000 sports pavilion.

Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering, will host a village gala to celebrate the pavilion's completion, after six years of fundraising, planning and building.

John Farrow, from the sports pavilion association, said everyone was looking forward to the day. "I think the project has probably taken a year off my life over the last six years," he said.

"It will be a great load off everyone's minds when it opens."

The opening of the new pavilion, next to the cricket pitch and football field, has already starting creating more interest in sports.

Mr Farrow said: "This season we have had girls' football start up, which will hopefully carry on, and only this week there has been interest in starting up an under-12s cricket team, so I think the pavilion is already starting to achieve its purpose."

Funding for the project came from sources including the Foundation For Sport And The Arts, Ryedale District Council, Yorventure, the Football Foundation and the village sports and show society.

Another £36,500 was raised at charity events, from donations of cash and materials by individuals and businesses, and through the hard work of an army of helpers, said Mr Farrow.

The gates will open at 9am for Sunday's event, starting with horse and pony events and going on all day.

Dog shows, terrier racing, a football tournament and even ferret bingo are just some of the attractions on offer.

More than 100 vintage vehicles are also expected, including farm machinery, pre-war cars, and motorcycles.

Admission costs £2 for adults and 50p for under-16s.

Updated: 10:39 Wednesday, May 21, 2003