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Work complete on £500k Sunderland sports pavilion

Hundreds of cricketers and footballers are enjoying a new £500,000 sports pavilion - partly funded by Sport England - and recently completed by Sunderland-based Brims Construction.

Sunderland City Council and Sport England worked in partnership with local football and cricket clubs, to fund and develop the new changing facilities at the Billy Hardy Sports Complex in the Castletown area of the city.

The new pavilion which includes four high-standard changing rooms for home and visiting players, two changing rooms for match officials, and toilets and disabled access facilities, opened last month.

Richard Wood, director at Brims Construction, said: “The original proposals we received were for a prefabricated building but we were able to come up with a bricks and mortar design within the same budget.

“This has led to a major upgrade of the previous facility, which will be of major benefit to users of this important community-based sports facility.”

Hylton Football Club attracts 300 regular players of all ages and sexes and has been the breeding ground for some top talent including ex-Sunderland players Michael Gray, Wilf Rostron and David Rush.

Hylton Cricket Club has over 60 regular users and has helped produce Durham County cricket players Phil Mustard and Chris Rushworth.

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, councillor John Kelly said: “It is great to see that we are able to support clubs and communities in our city as a key priority for us remains to see an increase in sport and physical activity participation year on year.

“The new facility will help in delivering the goal of increased participation and skill levels in sport and also allow access to mainstream provision for girls’, women’s and disabled football opportunities.

Coun Kelly said the previous prefabricated building had been in operation for 70 years and was continually being patched up.

He added: “We are pleased to have worked with Brims on this scheme and as a council we look to work with local companies.”

Sport England property director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £88 million into more than 1,600 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.

“It’s great to see the Hylton Sports clubs based at the Billy Hardy Complex join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”

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