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Council urged to put up money for sports village
3:00pm Friday 28th September 2012 in News
A SPORTS club is urging councillors to put up the cash to get the ball rolling on the final phase of a multi-million pound sports village in Bicester.
The move comes as Cherwell District Council looks at drawing up plans for a modular clubhouse and changing rooms at the Kingsmere sports village.
Clubs are urging the council to put cash on the table for phase three – an astroturf pitch, athletics track and tennis courts – to help attract further money from sports organisations or the Lottery.
A total of six football and rugby pitches and a changing pavilion will be built in the first two phases at a cost of £2.8m, but plans for phase three were put on hold last year due to lack of funding.
A cost for phase three has yet to be announced.
Work has started on the pitches and they will be ready for use in 2015. Plans for the pavilion, a modular building that can be added to in the future, are in the process of being drawn up and there will be an exhibition in November to show off the proposals.
Building work is expected to start in spring 2014.
But Bicester Athletics Club says the council should move now to get phase three, which would create a base for the range of outdoor sports in the town under way.
Club chairman Steve Flynn said: “We really need the council to put their hand in their pocket and we need it now, not in 10 years’ time when it’s too late.
“We need a true commitment from them for phase three. We need all the facilities to be together. Bicester ought to have a high profile sports site which all can use.
“Bicester is going to grow in the next 10 years and we should not be travelling 15 or 20 miles up the road for sports facilities.”
He said the club had been forced to create a waiting list due to demand, especially on the back of the London Olympics and Paralympics.
Cherwell’s deputy leader George Reynolds said: “We have identified almost £3m towards the cost of this project, wee will continue to seek funding for some of the later elements and would welcome active engagement from the local community that will benefit from the new facilities.”
Mr Reynolds said council officers were in regular contact with Sport England and other funding bodies with view to make a future funding bid.