THE first phase of a £50,000 scheme to boost sports facilities in a Teesdale village has been completed.

Evenwood Parish Council, the village cricket team and members of Evenwood Town FC received cash from Sport England's Inspired Facilities fund to improve the pavilion and changing facilities at the Randolph Social Welfare Ground.

The first £15,000 phase, which included the installation of new windows and grills, guttering, fascia boards, the provision of an electricity supply, new showers and flooring, is now complete.

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The next phase of the scheme will see new fencing put up, while the final phase will include some landscaping work.

Parish council clerk Martin Clark is also negotiating with Sport England in an effort to secure extra money to improve the entrance to the sports field, which at the moment is just a muddy track.

“It is in a terrible state and we are looking at laying it to hard core, with some landscaping,” he said.

In a further boost for the village, work to improve the children's play area next to the sports field is due to begin soon.

Funding of £22,000 – made up of £10,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All, £6,000 from the parish council, £4,000 from county councillor Pauline Charlton and £2,000 from Evenwood Community Association – has been secured for the work.

Parish council chairman, Barbara Nicholson, said the parish council was also seeking funding to provide better facilities for older children aged 13-plus in the village.