RESIDENTS in Compton and Shawford will no longer be confined to a simple kick-a-bout in the park on a Sunday afternoon.

The new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) was officially opened last Friday (April 4), attended by more than a dozen locals who had been volunteers at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Children from the nearby schools and their parents joined with parish councillors and MP Steve Brine for the inauguration at the site, formally known as the Memorial Playing Field, which has created new sports provisions for the entire community.

The development started in autumn of last year, funded by the Winchester City Council Open Space funding programme, and works were completed in February.

It consists of an all-weather terrain for the purpose of five-a-side football or basketball — said to be capable of handling even the heaviest of rain — new pathways around the court and a spectator rail.

The memorial walkway has also been upgraded with a map board similar to the one at the foot of Shawford Down.

An area to the north has been seeded with grass and wild flowers to create a natural wildlife habitat.