Wed, 11 Oct 2017
PLANS to build a new £120,000 changing facility in Newbury’s Victoria Park have been approved by West Berkshire Council.
The changing block will include showers and toilets, although full funding for the new building is yet to be secured.
Following the re-laying of the football pitch in the park, the facility will provide changing space for both home and away teams, and will also include a tiered timber viewing deck for spectators to watch tennis.
The timber-clad unit will be located adjacent to the tennis courts and will be designed to match a new kiosk building next to the pond – plans for which were approved earlier this year.
Newbury Town Council chief executive Hugh Peacocke said: “It’s important that we have appropriate changing facilities to service the amenities in Victoria Park.
“We were confident it would be approved – it’s a well-designed building and it’s a use that’s appropriate for the park.”
The council is now waiting to hear on an £80,000 funding bid with Sport England, while Mr Peacocke said various funding streams would be investigated to make up the total cost of the new facility.
“We have an application with Sport England, and they said they will update us by mid-October,” he said.
Speaking about the possibility of Sport England declining to fund the changing rooms, Mr Peacocke said: “We would have to see what our options are.
“We would have options regarding funding and the existing buildings in the park, but ideally we would like to have the new changing rooms to service the football pitch and new tennis courts.”
Work to repair Victoria Park began last autumn, after a £600,000 out-of-court settlement was reached with Parkway developer Costain.
As well as the repairs, a number of additions and improvements have been included, such as the laying of a new football pitch and the kiosk, which will house a café with indoor and outdoor seating areas, catering facilities, public toilets and office space.
Plans for the kiosk, however, have ground to a halt as discussions over an archaeological survey of the land continue.