THE people of Overton have been urged to get behind a plan to bring a new sports and leisure facility to the village.

Speaking at the Overton Annual Parish Meeting, Brian Wheeler, a member of the Overton Recreation Centre's (ORC) board of trustees, revealed that the group is planning "a new impossible dream" for sports and leisure in the village.

The ORC has been working with Overton Rugby Football Club for around 10 years in an attempt to build a new home for the club at Berrydown.

However, despite having amassed around £245,000 in cash and pledges, building costs and difficulties in obtaining grants for a single-sport project mean this has now been scrapped.

The fund will now be split between the two groups, allowing the rugby club to improve the facilities at its current home in Laverstoke, while the ORC is now looking to form plans for a new sport, leisure and community facility at Berrydown.

Mr Wheeler told the annual parish meeting that the new idea is for a large sports and leisure hall tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of groups and organisations wishing to take part in the project.

For the idea to become a reality, the ORC needs sports, leisure and community groups to come forward and register their interest, as funding in the form of grants is more readily available for projects that would benefit as many people as possible.

"This is not something we could or want to do alone," Mr Wheeler told the meeting. "It is something that needs to be supported by groups and organisations that see this as a worthwhile project.

"What a challenge. What an opportunity. We need the support of the whole village if we are to succeed, so let's get on with it."