Changing rooms set for revamp

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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CASH has been found to give a popular sports facility a major revamp to transform its run-down changing rooms.

The Wicor Recreation ground in Portchester is getting a £200,000 grant from the Football Foundation on top of an allocation of £500,000 from Fareham Borough Council.

The old changing rooms will be demolished to make way for brand new facilities suitable for six teams.

The Football Foundation has decided the Wicor Recreation Ground to be of the highest priority of all the potential projects in Hampshire that it is considering.

The car park, which has been deemed insufficient at weekends, will be expanded to provide up to an extra 20 spaces, which will cost around £40,000 to complete.

Councillor Roger Price, ward councillor for Portchester East, said he was delighted.

‘The current Wicor Recreation ground is one if the largest football facilities in the borough,’ he said.

‘The changing rooms are unfit for purpose in any way shape or form. They are in a dreadful state.

‘Alongside Portchester Community Centre it is the top priority for building in the borough.’

The Wicor Recreation ground, which is part of AFC Portchester, is used for local football teams across the borough.

The facilities have to comply with regulations set down by the Football Foundation.

Cllr Price added: ‘From my point of view, it’s a facility which has been long overdue to be done. So I welcome it with open arms. I’m sure that all the local clubs who use the facilities there will be over the moon.

‘They will be pleased that they will have some decent facilities for the first time in a long time.’

Councillor Connie Hockley, the council’s executive member for leisure and community, said: ‘It’s one of our prime sites where football is played. It isn’t fit for purpose.’

The council is now waiting for final approval from the Football Foundation and from its own executive to go ahead with the plans.