HOPES have been raised that a rundown pavilion in a Didcot park could be revamped after groups and organisations pledged their support for the idea.

The ‘dilapidated’ 1950s pavilion in Edmonds Park, used as changing rooms by local football teams, has been described as ‘damp and smelly’ and ‘in a dire condition’.

A consultation on its future has now been completed with an ‘incredibly positive response’ described and much support for doing something to improve the facilities.

Consultants Focus carried out the study on behalf of Didcot Town Council using online questionnaires and interviews with groups likely to use the pavilion.

It found there is strong demand for replacing the building with a new venue and that 90 per cent of people said they would be likely to use a new facility.

Sports groups, who mostly currently shun the pavilion because of its poor state, saw its redevelopment as ‘essential’ for their continued existence and supported expansion plans.

Mayor Bill Service said the council would now listen to all the responses and use them to build up a case to get funding to do something about the ‘awful’ facilities.

He said: “I am sure it will happen but we need to find the money.

“The reaction to the survey has been brilliant with so much support for the site.

“We can now take that to potential funders and show it is needed and it would be used.

“We have got to have evidence when asking for funding and this gives us the case we need.

“Now we can approach organisations with more confidence that the support of the community is behind us.”

Designs for the pavilion were unveiled in 2015 but later put on hold in favour of investing money in the new facilities at Boundary Park.

Clubs including Didcot Rugby Club have since moved bases across from Edmonds Park to Boundary Park.

Despite the report being published, clubs are still understood to be sceptical that anything will change, having been previously promised redevelopment, only to be left disappointed.

Kevin Lyons, the chairman of Didcot Town Youth Football Club, said the club was not convinced anything would happen.

He said: “We are currently sharing the pavilion between 18 of our teams, some of whom are girls teams.

“We outgrew the facilities a number of years ago, the pitches are congested and it is really starting to hold us back.

“At the moment the pavilion is mainly used for storage and it gets frequently broken into – it is getting ridiculous.

He added: “At one point we were quite hopeful it was going to happen but it keeps stalling and stalling.

“I have been here 12 years and the changing rooms are still the same, we’ve lost faith.

“We travel all over the county to other clubs and a lot of even the smaller teams have better facilities, it is a bit embarrassing.”

Mr Service said he sympathised with clubs using the pavilion, conceding it was 'in an awful state'.

He added: “It’s a building that is more than 60 years old and we have spent money on it in the past but we can’t do anymore without the funding.”

Following on from the consultation, the council will now conduct a feasibility study to look at adapting the existing designs to include suggestions made.

A business plan will then be created to plan for income and expenditure and look at options for how it could be managed.