TADLEY’S main sports complex can continue to operate, thanks to a vital grant of £7,000 made by Tadley Town Council.

On Monday, Tadley councillors all voted in favour of agreeing the grant which will go towards maintenance of the Barlow’s Park sports complex and playing fields, in Silchester Road.

The facility relies on the annual grant, which has in the past been contentious. Councillor Tony Flahive, who is also vice chairman of Barlow’s Park management committee, said they were thrilled that the grant had been approved.

He said: “This grant and the £9,000 annual grant that we get from the borough council are absolutely essential. Without this money we would simply not be able to survive. It’s an excellent facility and we are very grateful for the support of Tadley Town Council.”

Jim Anscombe, a member of the original partnership which set up the scheme, spoke at the meeting in favour of the grant. Young players from Tadley Calleva Youth FC, who train on the pitches, also attended.

Barlow’s Park is a £1.5million not-for-profit facility which was set up by the Tadley and District Recreation Scheme Partnership, made up of Barlows Plantation Environmental Trust, Tadley Town Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Funding from the Football Foundation got the project under way in 2007, combined with funding from other recreation scheme members. It was built on land donated by local business the John Stacey Group and is run by volunteers.

Cllr Flahive said: “It is the volunteers that mean we are able to continue to operate. Without them, there wouldn’t be Barlow’s Park.”