A PLAN to transform the vandalised pavilion at Egmont Street Playing Fields into a community hub has taken giant steps forward.
Mossley’s three elected members have had a “constructive” meeting with Councillor Oliver Ryan, executive member for finance and economic growth, and Tameside Council officers to discuss the project.And the search for a partner to help drive the plans forward has borne fruits with Mossley Football Club an interested party as they are looking for a base in the town.
Their junior sides and first team often train elsewhere because of the lack of facilities in the town.
Cllrs Stephen and Jack Homer and Tafheen Sharif are optimistic the shuttered changing rooms can be brought back to life as a community asset.
Cllr Stephen Homer said: “The idea behind the meeting was hopefully to sell our vision for the building to Tameside Council.
“If we can bring it back to life, it would be a fantastic asset for the town.
“The meeting was constructive. Tameside Council are happy to back our plan and work with us to make it happen.
“We have also had discussions with the football club and, though it remains early days, the signs are positive.”
Town councillors are also optimistic funding can be secured to help renovate the building.
Cllr Pat Mullin suggested at the last town council meeting that grants of up to £10,000 are available from the Football Foundation, probably on the proviso the building also incorporates changing facilities for the pitches.
The deteriorating state of the pavilion was raised at an earlier town council meeting by Cllr Stephen Homer.
He said: “The changing rooms are being vandalised and are not in a good state of repair.
“My worry is that if this carries on Tameside Council will knock it down if it becomes an eyesore, and once gone it will be forever.
“I would like to explore bringing the building back into use whether as a community café or meeting hub.
“There is a lot of potential and we should explore ways of keeping the building for the town.
“If we can bring in back into use, it would be an asset for the town and another jewel in the crown for Mossley.”
Cllr Homer added the playing fields offer great potential for holding events but the absence of toilets is an obstacle.
“If we bring the pavilion back into use and it has toilets, a lot of family events could be held there,” he explained.
“If the building is back in use, it will enhance the playing fields. And the more ideas we get, the better chance we have of getting it off the ground.”
Cllr Homer added: “It is about finding a way to make it happen – opening up the facility and realising its potential.
“It is still early days, but the ambition is to save the building and get it used.
“We will explore all avenues and see if we can get grants to do the work.”
Lesley Arnold, chair of the Friends of Egmont Street which was formed four years ago to improve the area, would love to see pavilion restored to its former glory.
She said: “We are not involved as a project of that size is way beyond our means as we are a tiny gardening group.
“We formed to better the area as there was a lot of graffiti and we have worked on the borders of the playing fields making them into garden and putting up picnic tables.”