Money released for Southwick football ground repairs and upgrades

The release of £50,000 to bring Southwick’s football ground up to scratch has been agreed by Adur District Council.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 3:27 pm

It has recently taken back the lease on the site in Old Barn Way and the money will be spent on roof repairs, floodlight upgrades and rebuilding boundary walls.

This comes as a new 25-year lease has been agreed with the Russell Martin Foundation (RMF), a Southwick-based not-for-profit organisation.

The charity, which is backed by the former Norwich City and Rangers player, has plans to work with the council to refurbish the entire site, transforming it into a community football hub, which promotes health, wellbeing and education in the area.

RMF has also agreed to offer the newly reformed Southwick Football Club (1882) the chance to use the ground for their home fixtures, meeting the ambition to return affiliated football to Old Barn Way.

At a meeting on Tuesday (March 30), Adur executive members agreed to allocate £50,000 of the remaining developer contributions secured in connection with the Brighton and Hove training ground for the essential maintenance and repairs.

 

According to officers, since the council took the site back it has had to undertake some emergency repairs such as removing one of the floodlights, removing the roof on the main stand and providing shutters to close off sections of the site.

There have been a number of security issues with the site and ongoing vandalism.

Their report said: “The earlier the site can be occupied the sooner the council can reduce its costs in dealing with security issues, paying non domestic rates and the community can start benefiting from the facility.

“It is therefore considered that the proposal to use s106 for this project would pump prime investment  into the site and help deliver the foundation’s proposed programme of sporting, health and wellbeing activities.”

The money for the repairs comes from sums that Brighton and Hove Albion FC contributed to the Council when the club’s training facilities at Lancing were given the go-ahead in 2013.

So far the £1.35 million contribution from the Seagulls has, among others projects, funded 3G football pitches at Sir Robert Woodard Academy, changing rooms at Croshaw Recreation ground changing rooms, improvements at Wadurs, a skateboard park in Lancing, improvements to the courts at Southwick Tennis Club and nets for Southwick Cricket Club.