WORK on two new sport pitches in Test Valley is one step closer to being completed, it has been revealed.

The final stages of work on two football pitches in Cutforth Way, Abbotswood, will kick off this month which will be operated by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

When finished, the new pitches will be open for football fans to enjoy.

The plans will also see a community sport pavilion, 40 car parking spaces, a bicycle storage facility and a multi-use games area created on the site, but it is not known when these facilities will be completed.

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I think any pitches that are available for the public are an absolutely valuable asset, particularly when it is a new estate an it takes time to get a community going.

"When we have these sport facilities it really helps to weld the community together and I am sure there will be football teams forming in Abbotswood who will be raring to go.

"The other benefits to the sport pitches are there will be more open space and, even if you are not a football player, it will give residents an area to walk in."

Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: "I am just glad that progress is being made on it because there has been such a delay in handing the pitches over for public use.

"I imagine there will be boys football clubs who will use the facilities and it is also for people who enjoy green space.

"I think you can never have enough open space and it is a big area that can be used outside of the football season."

Mr Edgerley added the work has been "delayed" due to the company responsible for building the pitches going "bust".

He added: "Abbotswood was built by a consortium of different builders and as part of the development they had to provide certain facilities, so those sport pitches were part of that.

"The fact the company went bust meant this caused delays and what TVBC has done is finish the work."

It is not known which company went into administration.

When asked about how much the football pitches will cost, TVBC could not confirm a figure.

However, a council spokesperson did confirm “work is going to start shortly to bring pitches up to standard for the summer, particularly for the football season in September”.