Portsmouth City Council set to put in extra bid for cash to Football Foundation to create new pitches on King George V playing fields

A FUNDING bid for a planned multi-million pound football hub in Cosham was submitted in April after the project was granted planning permission.

By Josh Wright
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 9:09 pm

But with 'affordability challenges' related to rising building costs discussions are already being held with the Football Foundation about the possibility of an additional 'top-up grant' above the £4.2m it has already applied for.

Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for leisure Steve Pitt said the new centre on the King George V playing fields would be a 'game changer' for the city and said he hoped work would early next year.

'I have been heavily involved in this since the beginning from the meetings with the local clubs and leagues,' he said. 'It's great to see it at this stage and we're hopeful that we will receive the funding in the autumn.

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An artist's impression of the planned new pavilion on the King George V playing fields in Cosham

'We are absolutely committed to this project and with the ongoing work at Moneyfields we will soon have two excellent football facilities in the city.’

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The project is part of a nationwide scheme run by the Football Foundation in a bid to increase the number of all-weather pitches and football facilities.

The 2018 Playing Pitch Strategy for Portsmouth said there were too few in the city, recommending the creation of a purpose-built centre for both youth and adult teams, while also encouraging the growth of women's and disabled games.

The King George V playing fields pavilion after the fire Picture: Chris Moorhouse

King George V was identified as 'a key opportunity site', prompting the submission of the planning application for a new two-storey pavilion which was approved in February.

Alongside the replacement pavilion, which will house changing rooms for teams using the existing grass and two new artificial pitches, there will be a public cafe and toilets.

At Tuesday's meeting of the city council cabinet, councillors will be asked to authorise the start of legal orders for the work.

'It is important the authority is in a position to move swiftly when any offer of funding is made,' a report says. 'The recommendations seek to ensure that there is absolute clarity about decision-making to enable the most timely response possible.'

Cllr Pitt said the development would only lead to the loss of a 'small corner' of the playing fields and he said anyone would be able to book the new pitches once work has been completed.