THE Winchester Pavilion Project’s fundraising campaign for a new multi-purpose building has been boosted by a major donation.

Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded it £30,000 for the grassroots project to replace the decrepit building on North Walls Recreation Ground.

The award takes the campaign to more than 70 per cent of its target.

Mike Caldwell, project lead, said: “Garfield Weston Foundation’s generous award is a terrific boost and nudges us ever closer to making the project become a reality.

“Once the leisure facilities at River Park relocate to Bar End in 2021, a new pavilion will be vital for the continuation of sport at North Walls; the current pavilion is well past its sell-by date and we’d dearly like to see the new pavilion in place by next year,”added Mr Caldwell.

This award comes on the back of a £20,000 pledge which is to be match-funded by donations from local businesses or local branches of national businesses. The pavilion team is approaching the business community asking for sponsorship of between £500 and £1,000; these donations will immediately be doubled in value. Sponsors’ names will be recognised on The Pavilion Project’s website and on social media; and their names will appear on a sponsors board taking permanent pride of place in the new pavilion. There will also be an invitation to a high-profile opening event once the pavilion is built.

The Pavilion Project’s aim is to raise enough funds to build a pavilion to be used not just by the district’s cricket community for only four months of the year, but rather all-year-round by cricket and other sports, and by community groups and local schools, too. The proposed pavilion received planning consent from the city council in 2018.