PUPILS at a Chineham school have a spring in their step – thanks to the opening of a new multi-use games area.

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Martin Biermann, went to Four Lanes Community Junior School, in Hanmore Road, to mark the official opening of the new £80,000 facility.

The games area has been hailed as a massive improvement on the school’s former games area, which had become a target for vandals.

Headteacher Martyn Gamble said: “This has given the children an absolutely wonderful area in which to play sports and games at play time, lunchtime and in lessons.

“It is a big improvement on our old games area which got frequently vandalised. It was not financially viable for us to replace it, so I am very grateful to the council for funding the improvements.”

The multi-use games area (MUGA) includes a drop-down netball and basketball hoop as well as football goals. The facility can be used by the wider community outside of school hours.

Cllr Biermann said: “I was very pleased to be at the opening of the multi-use games area and it is a fabulous addition to a school in my ward. Visually, it is a massive improvement and should be a big step forward for the school.”

The MUGA cost about £80,000 and has been funded by developer contributions. There could also be floodlights erected around the area at a cost of around £20,000.