£125K boost for projects

Daily Echo: An artist’s impression of the “performance pavilion” planned for New Milton. An artist’s impression of the “performance pavilion” planned for New Milton.

PLANS to provide a raft of new facilities for young people in a Hampshire town have received a double boost.

New Forest District Council has released a further £75,000 towards the cost of an outdoor entertainment venue that is already taking shape in the centre of New Milton.

And lottery chiefs have agreed to help fund a skateboard park which is also due to be built in the town.

The new entertainment centre, officially called a performance pavilion, will comprise a large circular stage in the middle of the recreation ground in Whitefield Road.

The facility is likely to be used by drama and dance groups as well as providing a setting for plays, concerts and gym classes.

District councillors allocated £130,000 towards the project earlier this year and have now agreed to make another donation.

The two sums will cover the cost of both the pavilion and associated landscaping work.

Town clerk Graham Flexman welcomed the latest cash boost and also revealed that Sport England had agreed to contribute £50,000 towards the cost of a £150,000 skateboard park.

“We’re delighted that things are moving on at last,” he said.

Plans to build the new pavilion were approved in March after town councillor Janette Duke told the district council’s planning committee: “It will create a real heart to our town.

New Milton needs its young people and will only retain them if it’s seen as a vibrant place to live.”

The district council had received several letters of objection citing the noise likely to be endured by people living near the site but the application was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Councillor Maureen Holding said: “This will help stem vandalism and other problems because the kids will have something useful and practical.”

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