A PLAN to invest almost £1m in new changing rooms at Wallingford Sports Park has received its first cash boost.

The sports facility off Hithercroft Road is owned by South Oxfordshire District Council and is managed by Wallingford Sports Trust.

Now SODC is awarding a grant of £100,000 to the sports trust to help it launch a fundraising drive for the revamp.

The funding was approved by the council’s grants panel on July 10 and needs to be ratified by cabinet member for leisure Bill Service.

Mr Service said: “The council is backing this scheme and I am certain this grant from SODC will go ahead.

“The sports trust wants to bring its changing rooms up to date and like any big project it needs a grant to kick off the fundraising.

“Wallingford Sports Park is a fantastic facility — I would like to see one in every town.”

The sports park covers 26 acres on the outskirts of the town and the site includes a floodlit all-weather pitch.

It is host to sports clubs including Wallingford Rugby Club, Wallingford Hockey Club, AFC Wallingford, Pertanque Wallingford, Portcullis Tennis Club, Hithercroft Squash Club and ABM Skittles Club. There are 2,500 members of the clubs, with 800 juniors.

John Atkins, 68, from Cholsey, who is chairman of the sports trust, said the changing rooms needed replacing as they dated back to 1974.

He added: “There are currently four changing rooms in the block and the plan is for an eight-changing room block over two floors, each with its own showers and toilets.

“The new changing rooms will cost £925,000 so we needed SODC’s grant to get us started with the fundraising. We can now go to other organisations with applications for funding.”