Pavilion contractor appointed

DOWNEND & Bromley Heath Parish Council has appointed a contractor to build a new pavilion on King George V playing fields.

Councillors voted by a small margin to approve Avonmouth-based portable building supplier Wernick for the project over Yorkshire firm Derbybeech, which had been the previous preferred bidder, at a meeting in February.

The quoted price for the modular building agreed by councillors was £734,960.

Last year the total cost of the project, which will include landscaping, a car park upgrade and storage units for sports equipment, was estimated at up to £1.25 million in total.

Councillors rejected an alternative option to refurbish the existing dilapidated building.

Parish councillors Raj Sood, Janet Biggin and Phil Abbott voted for the Wernick bid, while Ben Burton, who has led the project as chair of the sports pitches working group, and Jacky Dockerty voted for the Derbybeech bid. Councillor Dave Somers abstained.

The council’s finance and general purposes committee will now start discussions with the contractor on “any possible savings that can be made”, ahead of a finalised specification being presented to the full council’s next meeting, where “a programme of ‘next steps’ and timescales will also be finalised”.

The new building will include changing facilities that meet Sport England requirements for accessibility and child safeguarding, plus meeting rooms, office space and a recreational area that could be used by the community.

The parish council first unveiled detailed plans for a new pavilion to replace the existing run-down building in late 2020. At the time the cost was estimated at £600,000 to £700,000.

A proposal to apply for a £400,000 loan to meet the rising costs of the project was backed by residents who responded to a two-month public consultation last year.