WORK has started on a £630,000 community football centre on the site of a former school.

Changing facilities for four teams are being built at the former Roseberry College site in Newfield, near Chester-le-Street, along with a refurbishment of the existing artificial grass pitch and replacement of security fencing.

Durham County Council has been awarded £293,000 by the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund.

The extra cash is coming from the council, local councillors Colin Carr and Alison Batey and receipts from a number of local housing developments.

Hilda Park FC plans to set up extra teams over the next five years, which will increase opportunities for children and adults from the Pelton and Newfield area to play the game, including pupils from nearby Roseberry Primary School.

Cllr Maria Plews, county council cabinet member, said: “This project, and funding, has allowed the Council to retain valuable playing fields both in terms of sports provision and the requirements of the local Playing Pitch Action Plan.

“It will provide a managed community sports facility for future generations of residents within the area.”