A new state-of-the-art £2.2m Community ‘Club Hub’ facility on the County Ground recreational ground has moved a step closer with the start of access road improvements leading on to the site.

The access improvements, which are part of the planning conditions for the ‘Club Hub’, are being carried out by Swindon Borough Council’s Highways team.

Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust in partnership with Swindon Borough Council plan to create a wonderful new facility that will enable Swindon Harriers Athletics Club and the Community Trust to further expand and enhance the projects and programmes that are enjoyed by so many local participants.

The Community Trust delivers to a wide range of Swindon people from the age of 2 to 80 years. These sessions are not just solely focussed about football training, but also tackle issues relating to health, social inclusion, education and sports participation. This new facility in central Swindon will allow existing and new participants the opportunity to access these projects and programmes to enhance and benefit people’s health and well being.

The delivery plan for the proposed project will also benefit local schools and grass root clubs that will utilise the facilities to support their training, matches and physical education.

The Club Hub facility received a unanimous planning decision at the March planning committee and this confirmation of funding now means that the finance is in place to move forward with the building of the project.

Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust has worked with the Football Foundation, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire FA to secure a grant of £1,000,000 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “As a keen supporter of grassroots football, I am delighted that work has begun to allow the creation of what will be a wonderful facility for the local community.

“But the Club Hub is not just about football and it is fantastic that both the Swindon Harriers and the Community Trust will be able to utilise the new sporting provision to deliver their programmes and projects to a wide range of participants.”

Head of Trust, Jon Holloway, said: “We are delighted that work has now started on the access road improvements, as this element of the project needs to be completed before we can start on site and build the new Community ‘Club Hub’ facility.

“It was a great feeling to see the highways team arrive on site as this is another major milestone towards making our dream a reality. We can now very much look forward to these road work being completed over the next month and then commencing the building work onsite.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in this project and all the people that have supported us to get to this stage. It is very exciting times ahead for Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust and we can’t wait to see this new community facility come to life.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 166 grants worth £6m across Wiltshire towards grassroots sports projects worth £22.8m and it is great to hear that Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust will be the latest beneficiary.

“Funding from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Foundation, will support the club in developing a brand new facility for the local community. Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Fund is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.

Photo: Cllr Gary Sumner (middle) with (from left): Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust’s Shane Hewlett, Clive Maguire and Jon Holloway