The biggest artificial grass pitch in the borough opens this week to key partner football clubs – at Front Lawn Sports Hub – along with a visit from a local MP.
The £1.5m project at Front Lawn Recreation Ground, Leigh Park, Havant will provide improved facilities - four changing rooms, toilets and community space - as well as the biggest state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).
Funding was granted by Sport England, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation, and Havant Borough Council (HBC). A cheque was formally presented in May 2016.
Alan Mak MP will be visiting the site on Friday 8 September to see how the money has been spent so far and to hear about what works are left to be completed.
New floodlights are due to be installed by the end of September, followed by completion of the hub by Christmas with a grand opening planned in the New Year.
Hampshire Football Association is now working in partnership with HBC onsite and has moved into temporary accommodation. Once the site is completed Hampshire Football Association will move into the community hub and will operate the facilities on behalf of HBC.
Councillor Leah Turner, Cabinet Lead for Communities and Housing, said: "Havant Borough Council is delighted that our partnership with the Football Foundation is delivering this exciting new facility for our residents. It will provide sporting pleasure whilst helping all users to keep fit."
Neil Cassar, CEO of Hampshire FA, said: “We are one of a few county FA’s with more than one operational site which is a momentous achievement in itself.
“At our HQ in Basingstoke we have seen cup finals hosted and large scale events hosted for the local community. We have hosted regional finals, courses and much more.
“This new facility will go that extra mile to ensuring we can accommodate even more for our members, the very people that serve our beautiful game whilst being closer, more connected with these areas and our members within them. It isn’t simply a facility providing football – it is a facility for the whole community, where local people can partake in a variety of sports whilst finding out about the work that we do. It will be a community hub, where we can deliver a programme of courses including safeguarding, medical, refereeing, CPD and more.
“Together with our partners and stakeholders, this has been achievable and we look forward to a bright future ahead for our game in Hampshire.”