A NEW £500,000 building providing changing facilities for the sports community of Neyland has been officially opened.

The new Neyland Changing Rooms will cater for the local cricket, rugby, football and bowls clubs and their visiting teams.

Situated next to Neyland Athletic Club, the building also has a gym, a dedicated room for referees, officials, and first aid, and foyer.

There is also a wide roof overhang providing shelter when the weather is poor.

Construction began early this year, following demolition of the old changing rooms building.

The building was funded by Pembrokeshire County Council and built by contractors WJG Evans & Sons.

It was jointly opened by Cllr Elwyn Morse, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, and Martyn Rees, of Neyland Community Sport Club Association.

Cllr Morse said: “It gives me great pleasure to be part of this project here in Neyland.

“I’d like to thank the contractors, and the two local members, Paul Miller and Simon Hancock, for all they have done behind the scenes, and Chris Payne, Leisure Services Manager.

“I’d also like to thank Martyn for bringing the teams around the table and getting the ball rolling a few years ago and achieving what we have today under his stewardship.”

Mr Rees said he felt the new building was a very worthy successor to the old building.

He said: “The predecessor of this organisation, and the Local Authority of its day, created a facility ahead of its time back in the 1970s, and this is its successor.

“I am confident that this building will be a flagship for the town in years to come.

“I hope that our youngsters use and cherish this building so that we, as a community, can stand here in 20 or 30 years time and look back at it with pride.”

Neyland East County Councillor Simon Hancock added: “I am delighted to see the opening of the new Neyland changing facility. It represents a £500,000 investment by Pembrokeshire County Council and working in partnership with the local sporting associations it will ensure that local teams will have first-class changing facilities for many years to come.”

Neyland West County Councillor Paul Miller said: “I am delighted that the town now has access to a first class, 21st century facility for sport and recreation. I’d like to thank everyone who has played their part.”

The new facility includes a fully equipped fitness gym which will be run on a not for profit basis by Neyland Athletic Club.

Members will be provided with an access fob and be able to access the facility between 6:30am and 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Cllr Miller added: “Memberships (at £5 per month) are designed to be as affordable for people as possible and I'd encourage anyone who wishes to become a member to visit and sign up.

“This is a fantastic first step in the development of Neyland Athletic Ground. We are still hoping that the second phase will be the construction of a new build Community and Sport Centre for the town.

“I'm pleased to say that considerable progress has been made in recent months and we expect formal plans and proposals to be released in January 2015."