A NEW vision for the future of sport in Weymouth has been unveiled.
As campaigners step up their fight to protect and maintain the Marsh playing fields, Weymouth Amateur Boxing Club has outlined its vision to build a new facility on the land.
The club is looking for support and grant funding to create a new home, next to Moonfleet Bowling Club.
The facility would also be used by other clubs including Weymouth Cougars, and preliminary plans for the project put the cost at around £370,000.
It comes as two new petitions are launched, urging authorities to continue maintaining the area and asking for it to be recognised as an important sports and leisure facility in an area with a large population and issues of social deprivation.
The borough council-controlled Marsh off Knightsdale Road is used for athletics, football and other community uses as well as public open space but facilities are in a poor state.
Fears have been raised in the past the site may not be protected from development.
A council-led sports strategy is investigating ways of improving the site.
David Nelmes, president of the boxing club, said the club’s proposal would enhance the Marsh’s use for sports, leisure and recreation and ‘benefit the community’.
Facilities could also be used by the Weymouth Cougars youth football club and St Paul’s Harriers.
The proposals still need to go through the planning process but the boxing club is currently in talks with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
Currently the boxing club is in Hardwick Street in the Park District and Mr Nelmes said that parking was difficult.
Mr Nelmes asked any clubs interested in using the potential new facility or anyone that could provide assistance with grants to get in touch.
Two new petitions have been launched – one aimed at the borough council, urging it to continue funding the maintenance of the Marsh, while the second calls on Dorset County Council to recognise the importance of the Marsh for recreation and allocate Olympic legacy funding.
Chairman of the Friends of the Marsh, county councillor Mike Byatt, said that under the borough council’s budgetary process, parks and recreations had been an area looked at to make potential savings.
Although the budget is in place for maintaining the Marsh for 2014-15, Cllr Byatt said the idea of the petition was to send a clear message to the council from the community.
He said: “We want the borough council to maintain its commitment to serving the Marsh.”
- The petitions will be available to sign in shops close to the Marsh and copies will be distributed locally.
- Clubs interested in the new facility, or anyone who can help with grants should contact Weymouth Amateur Boxing Club via email at info@weymouth abc.co.uk