LONG-awaited plans for a new pavilion at Easebourne’s Rotherfield sports ground have been given the go-ahead.
After battling for almost a year, the Rotherfield Sports Association has planning permission for a new £400,000 pavilion which it hopes will secure the future of sport in the village.
Now the daunting task of raising funds has started.
Chris Wigley, a member of the football club committee, is leading the project.
“It has taken us three years to get this far,” he said. “The first task was to get an extension of our lease on the ground from the Cowdray Estate, which we now have and then we put in our planning application at the start of this year.”
He said the new facilities would benefit not only footballers, but the cricket team and hopefully bring back the traditional Sussex sport of stoolball, which until recently was played on Rotherfield.
“We are replacing our dilapidated old building with a new clubhouse complete with changing rooms and officials facilities. These facilities will benefit all the young sportsmen and woman of Midhurst and Easebourne.”
There are two senior teams for Midhurst and Easebourne United Football Club, one playing in the newly-renamed Southern Counties Combination League, as well as nine youth sides.
The new pavilion will also secure the future of Easebourne Cricket Club, which faces the same stringent standards as demanded by the Football Association for teams playing in leagues.
“The progress so far is the result of hard work by many people and contributions from several local groups including Cowdray Estate, Macdonald Oates, who have done our legal work and our architect Daniel White,” said Mr Wigley.
“We now want to establish a fundraising committee from volunteers across the community and hope to secure grant aid from as many sources as possible as well as local fundraising.”
He said £12,000 had already been pledged. Anyone who wants to help should call him on 01730 814719 or football club chairman Darren Chiverton on 01730 817873.