Joy at plans for ‘top drawer’ sports ground for Leigh Park estate

An artist's  impression of Front Lawn Recreation Ground
An artist's impression of Front Lawn Recreation Ground
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  • Havant Borough Council has revealed plans for a huge new sports ground in Leigh Park
  • £250,000 set aside but more cash needed to make it a reality
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PLANS for a new £1m sports ground have been revealed for the centre of Leigh Park.

Front Lawn Recreation Ground, behind the bingo hall off Somborne Drive, is to be transformed with an artificial all-weather football pitch, a multi-use games area with floodlights and the potential for cage cricket.

The run-down pavilion which is used as changing rooms will get a large extension and be modernised. Inside will be a suite of training rooms which may be used by the Leigh Park youth charity Big World Impact to run training for young people across the borough.

Havant Borough Council will not be running the site itself, but looking for an outside partner to run it.

The council is leading the project using money built up over the years from developer contributions.

There is £250,000 to put in so far and major funding bids will be made to organisations such as Sport England to raise the rest of the money – thought to be in the region of £1m – to make the dream a reality.

Julian Wadsworth, the community engagement manager from Big World Impact, said: ‘It will be brilliant for Leigh Park.

‘This is top-drawer, quality stuff. For us it is important that we have accessible and credible training suites.

‘Havant needs a community facility that’s modern where we can develop a whole range of training courses for sports, arts, employment and personal development for young people.

‘This will aid Big World Impact and the people of the borough.’

Havant MP Alan Mak said he welcomed the development.

Councillor Mike Fairhurst, who represents Leigh Park, said: ‘It’s wonderful for the area. Not only will we get some very good sporting facilities but we’re doing it in conjunction with Big World Impact to help young people increase confidence, learn skills and get jobs. It’s a win-win situation.’