THE bad news is that the artificial football pitch at River Park is closed after dark because of floodlight failure, preventing games in the evening.

But the good news is that the city council is to spend £99,000 on improving the facilities, including new lighting, fencing and surface on the tennis courts

The Chronicle has reported how poor fencing is allowing vandals onto the pitches next to the now-closed River Park Leisure Centre.

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Sue Croker, head of landscape and open spaces, told the Winchester Town Forum: "We have had to make the unfortunate decision to stop the games played after sundown. This is because of the problems we have with lights we just could not guarantee play."

Cllr Kelsie Learney, cabinet member for housing and asset management, said the pitches were very popular: "For a lot of people it is their major form of physical activity."

Cllr Jamie Scott, a governor at Kings' School said it saved money every year to pay for the replacement of the 3g pitches at the school.

The town forum agreed the expenditure which has to have final approval from the Cabinet and full Council.


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