Club wins funds to replace crumbling changing rooms

A FOOTBALL club whose leaky changing rooms are falling apart has secured £30,000 to rebuild its facilities.

Lancing United, who play at Croshaw recreation ground in Sompting, have some of the worst facilities in the league, but not for much longer.

W05715H14  Glenn Souter and Joby Pannell in the changing rooms

W05715H14 Glenn Souter and Joby Pannell in the changing rooms

The leaking, mouldy roof and walls, exposed wiring, faulty showers and collapsing floor will soon be a thing of the past.

“It’s not the best,” said manager Glenn Souter. “In fact, it’s an eyesore. We have lost some players because they don’t want to use the shocking facilities.”

Young players from Lancing Rangers also train at Croshaw.

“It’s a health hazard,” said Mr Souter. “It’s not a suitable environment for kids to 
be in.”

The portable building was only meant to last ten years, but has been there for more than 30.

The West Sussex League has told the club that if nothing is done, they could end up being demoted, but only as a last resort.

The club first applied for £2,500 from the Adur Community Grants Committee, but the council had been reluctant to throw good money after bad on a temporary fix, so Cllr Brian Boggis worked to secure £10,000 from the West Sussex County Council.

He then persuaded Adur council to invest £20,000 of the £1.3million Section 106 money from Brighton and Hove Albion’s training ground into the grass-roots club. “These are exciting times for the club,” said Mr Souter. “We are at a crossroads. It’s almost like it’s make or break time for us.

“We are a community club and we want to improve the surrounding area.

“We either do this now, or we don’t and fall by the wayside and the club dissolves. It’s now down to the members to push it forward.”

Mr Souter revealed that the club’s members would be doing most of the work.

“We have a lot of tradesmen in the team,” he said. “It could cost £60,000 to build, but we can do it for £35,000.”

The club, which was founded in 1946, has applied to the Adur Pot of Gold, and has reached the final stages of the Capital One Grounds for Improvement competition, which could bring in £75,000.

“It’s a bit of a hub here on Saturday mornings,” said Mr Souter. “We offer a chance for players from the age of six to 46 to play football.”

Bad weather has meant United have not played a competitive match since December 14.