Football fund will help build new changing rooms

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NEW changing rooms will be built at a well-used recreation ground, thanks to a pledge of £250,000.

The money from the Football Foundation will help fund the project at Wicor Rec in Portchester.

Plans are to replace the derelict changing rooms which have been closed for nearly two years.

It comes after thieves broke into the old block in August 2010 and stole copper piping causing thousands of pounds of damage, leaving the facility unusable.

The remaining £500,000 for the new building is being met by Fareham Borough Council.

The sports pavilion will include six team changing rooms, two officials changing rooms and toilets for spectators.

It will be managed by the council alongside AFC Portchester, which is based at the site.

Councillor Connie Hockley, who is in charge of community matters for the council, said: ‘I’m pleased that the Football Foundation has been able to support this much-needed project which will provide both a new changing facility and allow the council to implement its football development plan for the area.

‘This project is the result of excellent partnership working with both the foundation and the local football club, AFC Portchester.

‘It will be the second major community facility provided for the Portchester residents in 2012, following the recent start of work on the new Portchester Community Centre.’

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the foundation, added: ‘I commend the borough council and the Hampshire County FA for working tirelessly to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing the end result in the near future.

‘This year is an exciting time for sport in this country and a tremendous opportunity to create a grassroots legacy.’

AFC Portchester have been allowing the public to use its toilets on match days since the council-run block was closed.