A presentation demonstrating the new Ross Sports Centre was given to residents and councillors of the town.

Various grant recipients were invited to report to residents and councillors of Ross at the Annual Parish Meeting last Monday (April 25) on how taxpayer money has been put to use. One such project was the refurbishment of Ross Sports Club and getting it back up to working order after the floods which devastated it.

Chair of Ross Sport Centre Tony Featherstone told the meeting of how since taking on the role of chair, the club had flooded twice and had to deal with restrictions brought on by Covid-19. The floods which devastated the ground in 2019 and 2020 left the centre in such a state of disrepair that at one point Tony feared it would become derelict.

The state of the toilets, showers and lack of privacy in the changing rooms left a lot of desire for improvements. The lack of comprehensive changing room facilities meant that men and women were unable to use the changing rooms at the same time.

“Luckily, the place was so damaged by the floods that we literally had a blank canvas to start all over again,” Tony said.

Plans for how the club will look after all the completed works were presented, which included unisex toilets, allowing any number of men and women to use. For the first time, space has been dedicated for an accessible WC. The club bar is substantially larger, and able to accommodate more people. The number of showers has also been upgraded from four to six. There are also compliant changing rooms for adults, as well as a specific changing room for referees, which they’ve not had before.

Thanks to grant funding and smart planning, every inch of the building is made usable. He added: “The only way we’ve manage to fit those new facilities in is by making the space 100 per cent used.”

The grant allowed the sports club to purchase a secure lockable container, which can be used for storage, freeing up space within the building.