THE development of Victoria Park is set to continue following Newbury Town Council’s decision to apply for £80,000 of funding for new changing facilities.
A portion of the funds from the £600,000 Costain settlement had been allocated for the refurbishment of the football pitch, which has been stripped and reseeded ahead of the 2017/18 season.
However, the pitch will not be able to be used by local teams unless adequate sports shower/ changing room facilities are available on site.
At a meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee this week, councillors agreed to apply for £80,000 of funding from Sport England to go towards the development, while the remaining funds will be taken from the town council reserves.
The total cost of the project is as yet unknown.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, council leader Dave Goff (Con, Clay Hill) said: “We are doing a number of developments in the park such as the tennis courts, and the football pitches and, to make the maximum use out of them, we need changing facilities.
“At the moment we are going to go out to tender.
“So we need to get those in and speak to the people who want to do the work and see where we go from there.
“At the moment it’s a bit too early to put a timescale on it.”
“I think we have a good case for the funding and we will see how it goes.”
The 60sqm changing facilities would be built adjacent to the tennis courts in the open space that leads down to Victoria and Her Lions and would provide home and away teams’ changing rooms including showers and toilets, a changing room for officials, and storage for bandstand seating, football nets, corner posts and goal posts.
The major redevelopment of park, which has so far seen work commence on the tennis courts and bowling green, comes after the out-of-court-settlement with Parkway developer Costain was agreed last November.
Cracks appeared in the park and surrounding area shortly after the developer conducted water extraction works when building Parkway shopping centre’s underground car park in 2010.
Sporting facilities in the park, including Newbury’s historic bowls club lawns and a nearby nursery school were damaged, with work to repair the facilities expected to take up to a year.
It has been several years since the council had a playable football pitch and changing rooms in Victoria Park which at that time was offered to teams playing in the Berks and Bucks league.