Football clubs to enjoy more high quality facilities following completion of Winklebury improvement work
Construction work on the £152,000 project, which was funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, is now complete and Southern League ground grading officials gave the work its seal of approval following an inspection on Friday (16 October).
Improvements at the site included a new spectator stand, turnstiles, a new public address system, new committee room, improvements to changing rooms and new mesh screening, bringing the facility up to a Grade D standard.
The new additions to the site follow the completion of a new state-of-the-art artificial pitch which was officially opened last August and funded by Hampshire Football Association, The Football Foundation and the borough council.
Over the last two years, the borough council, Hampshire FA and The Football Foundation have invested over £1 million in the site and the upgrade work will allow clubs to enjoy high quality facilities all year round thanks to the new all-weather artificial pitch.
As well as ensuring football clubs of all abilities have the chance to play all year round, the improvement work will allow Basingstoke Town Community Football Club to return to the borough and to play their home matches at the site from Saturday (24 October).
Over the last five years significant investment has been made in sports facilities across the borough to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. This includes improvements at Down Grange, 3G pitches in Winklebury and Down Grange and The Vyne and Testbourne schools, improvements at Howard Park Bowls Club and a gym refurbishment for The Hurst Community School.
Cabinet Member for Borough Development and Improvement Cllr Rebecca Bean said: “As a council we are committed to investing in sport to ensure our residents have access to high quality facilities. I am delighted this important project is now complete and the improvement work, which has raised the standard of Winklebury Football Complex to Grade D, has been signed off by Southern League officials.
“Not only will the great new additions to the site allow clubs and players of all abilities to enjoy high quality facilities all year round but this project will also allow Basingstoke Town Community Football Club to return to the borough which is great news.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in making these improvements possible, including officers at the borough council, Hampshire Football Association and The Football Foundation.”
Hampshire FA CEO, Neil Cassar, added: “We are very pleased with additional investment into Winklebury Football Complex which will enhance the experience of all users and visitors. At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world, the power of sport and football in particular has a key role to play in uniting our communities and keeping local people healthy and active in body and in mind.”