THE Brighton Hill community and beyond has rallied round to try and save football facilities that have been earmarked to close.

As reported in The Gazette last week, the Powerleague facility, in Brighton Way, has been marked as potentially closing down as the company looks to restructure.

However, residents have banded together to show their support for the facility, with one supporter setting up an online petition to try and keep the Powerleague from closing by calling for an alternative operator.

Elsewhere, deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hatch Warren and Beggarwood ward councillor Terri Reid has raised the issue with the authority.

The petition has gained a large following after being set up on Friday last week with, and at the time of publication, 998 people having put their names down to keep the place open, with an initial target of 1,000 supporters.

Brighton Hill South ward councillor Andrew McCormick said: “It is a good indication of how popular that this is in the local area, people don’t want to see it close.

“It really would be a blow to lose it as there is nothing else like it around, and there is a wide user base of people who play there, from young to old.”

While the petition is gaining steam, there are other potential solutions being looked into.

Cllr Reid said: “I’ve raised the issue with a cabinet member to see what can be done, and I understand that there are discussions going on between them, Brighton Hill School and Hampshire County Council.

“A lot of people have got in contact with me about this, and many residents make use of the service, especially during the summer holidays for younger children.

“We are in very early days so far, but the message has definitely come through that people want the facility to stay.

“The petition has been shared a lot in the community, and it shows people’s concerns. It also helps to really emphasise the matter and the need for this, as well as articulating the keenness of the locals to keep the place open.”

Jody Barham, who set up the petition, wrote on the page: “This will be a devastating loss to Basingstoke losing these facilities.

“A business like this should be supported and kept to keep young people having fun whilst learning and keeping fit in a safe environment there is nothing else like this in Basingstoke.”

The Powerleague company is looking to restructure its business, and this could lead to 13 sites, including Basingstoke, to close in the new year.

This would result in the loss of 109 jobs in total out of the company’s total of more than 580 positions.

To view the petition, go to