A HAMPSHIRE school has been invited to run a new £2m community centre – despite a 1,500-name petition backing a different operator.

Portchester Community Centre is under construction at Westlands Grove and will replace an existing facility on the same site.

Executive members of Fareham Borough Council have decided to offer the lease for the building to Portchester Community School.

The decision was made despite support for PCA (Portchester Community Association) to run the facility – the group has operated the old centre since 1963.

But a panel of councillors said they were impressed by a number of community ventures the school was involved in, including the Portchester Day Centre, a children’s centre, sports for the disabled and a new breakfast club for fathers.