The first phase of the redevelopment of Newhaven Football Club’s derelict grandstand into a sports and community facility starts this week.
The ground floor will be fitted out with changing rooms, showers and toilets, including facilities for the disabled and a gym available to all. In the first year it will create three to four new full time jobs.
The final phase, starting in 2016, will create a new community function room on the first floor offering wheelchair and limited mobility access and be the largest enclosed space in the area providing a venue for a variety of indoor sports, adult learning, seminars and social gatherings.
Funding is from East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council, grant-giving trusts, businesses, club sponsors The Trafalgar-Group and the Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded a £100,000 landfill Communities Fund grant.
The club developed its plans after consultation with several organisations indicated there was a need for a hub that offered sport and recreational activities for all.
Club chairman Andy Lloyd said: “Studies show involvement in sports helps improve both attitude and educational achievement in young people and early diversion provides effective value for money by cutting down costs in dealing with antisocial behaviour.
“There is a real need in Newhaven for a place where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can meet, take part in sport, keep fit and have fun in a safe, comfortable environment and I am immensely proud our historic local club and its new building will provide this.”