Press coverage: Pavilion Secures Planning Permission (4th February 2018)

The following article was published in The Hampshire Chronicle on 4th February 2018.

Plans to replace a run-down Winchester sports pavilion with new £600,000 facility have been approved.

The Pavilion Project, which will see the dilapidated pavilion and scoring huts at North Walls Recreation Ground replaced with a new sports and community building, have been given the green light by city council planners.

Project organisers say the benefits will stretch to other sports including rugby, cycling and running, as well as other park users and community groups.

However, project organisers have revealed that there is still some way to go to secure all funding. As previously reported, Winchester City Council has allocating £300,000, with Sport England agreeing a contribution towards costs from its Community Asset Fund, thought to be around £50,000. More than £15,000 has also been raised through local events, donations and pledges so far, meaning the project still needs to find funding for around a third of the total cost, estimated to be between £500,000 and 600,000.

Mike Caldwell, project co-ordinator, said: “We’re off to a good start so early on in the new year. Getting planning permission is great news; another achievement after last year’s successes which will help unlock more potential funding. I must extend our huge thanks to all those who have backed the project so far, whether through their generous donations, efforts or time taken to write letters of support. Every little counts and we are extremely grateful. We now look to the next few months and a major final fundraising push.”

He added: “[Architect] AR Design’s concept is really very clever and sensitively conceived. It complements its surroundings, serves both the pitches, will be sustainable, accessible and could also be used for wider community use, too.”

The latest boost for the scheme comes on the back of being granted ‘charitable status’ by the Charity Commission last year.

Hampshire cricketer Jimmy Adams, from Winchester, has been a supporter from the start. He said: “I remember playing cricket many times at North Walls, even then the pavilion was in a very sorry state. The proposed plans are absolutely fantastic, a unique design for a cricket pavilion. It will be quite something.”

“I’m sure this new building will encourage more cricket to be played at this wonderful location, providing a new lease of life for local cricket at all levels. I really do hope the fundraising is successful.”

Cllr Anne Weir said: “This is a very welcome application for the replacement of the cricket pavilion. I support the innovative and ambitious design which will enhance the North Walls park and provide a new focal point for activities in this highly valued open space.”

The Pavilion Project, a not-for–profit organisation, was set up just over two years ago.

by a group of Winchester residents. After approaching Winchester City Council to discuss the proposal for an enhanced replacement at North Walls, the Pavilion Project approached award-winning Winchester architects, AR Design Studio, to design the new facility.

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Richard Coope