THE new community centre for Harrow Weald is great news as it will benefit a large section of the local population.
Run by Watford FC's community trust, the complex's fenced-off soccer pitch will host specialist football courses and lessons for visiting pupils from local schools every day, benefiting children far beyond the immediate community.
It improves on the current open grass pitch in being an all-weather surface, guaranteeing year-round use, and being available for private hire 14 hours a week, although the gates will only be open for free public use for three hours on weekdays and four at weekends, compared to the obvious 24-hour availability at present and, in that respect, youngsters may be worse off.
The centre itself will continue to run the same activities it does at present but in addition, there will be a new cafe and children's play area, and workspace for police and residents' groups, while the building is more flexible than its predecessor so staff can adapt the rooms on the hoof to accommodate different uses.
Funded by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund's MyPlace scheme, the project does have its downsides - open access to the pitch is restricted and the footprint of the complex eats further into Cedars Open Space and the Green Belt - but they are outweighed by the advantages of having a secure, managed building with improved facilities that will revitalise Harrow Weald with no extra cost to Harrow's taxpayers.