Proposals to breathe new life into one of Swindon’s green lungs could see millions of pounds invested in brand new sports facilities

Moredon Recreation Ground has been earmarked for more than £3.6m of investment that would provide a BMX pump track, a cycling closed road circuit, cyclo cross facilities and enhanced cricket pitches.

The proposed plans, which were approved by Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet last night (14 March), also feature new football pitches including a full size 3G pitch, an expansion of the croquet club and a replacement changing room and pavilion.

The Council-owned recreation ground currently provides football, cricket and croquet, but the current sports pavilion and changing rooms are in need of major refurbishment or replacement.

The par 3 pitch and putt golf course, which makes up a large portion of the site, is also currently unused and the Council has been looking at options to transform the facility in order to make it sustainable in the long term.

Sport England, British Cycling and the Football Foundation have indicated a willingness to offer grant funding to offset the cost of the new changing rooms and pavilion, proposed cycling road circuit and 3G artificial pitch, subject to a formal application process.

The remainder of the cost would be met through the sale of high quality homes close to the current entrance of the site and a Planning Development Brief for the site would be prepared and consulted on prior to any residential development going ahead.

It is anticipated that a planning application for the proposed multi-sports hub, ancillary retail, community-related facilities and associated car parking and the Planning Development Brief for the residential development would be submitted later this year.

Further informal consultation on the detailed masterplan will take place with residents and other stakeholders. A previous draft masterplan was shared at a public meeting 12 months ago, which received overwhelming support for the development.

Cllr Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Place, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity to provide first-class sporting facilities that can be used by clubs and the local community.

“We made a commitment to retain Moredon Recreation Ground for recreational use when the decision was taken to close the nine-hole pitch and putt course and I am really pleased we have come up with a scheme which opens up the land for recreational use once more and provides such a diverse range of sporting activities.

“We have received really positive feedback from the local community so far and I look forward to engaging with them further as we develop the detailed masterplan for the site.”

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