WORK is set to start on a £100,000 refreshments kiosk and toilets in an idyllic riverside spot in Fordingbridge this month.

The town and district councils are funding the work, to be undertaken by building firm Mike Castle at the recreation ground from April 22.

The kiosk and toilets, which have a traditional design with extra measures to avoid flooding, will be built in the play area and will incorporate the rose garden once the fence and gate have been removed.

Five unisex toilets will link to the kiosk and will include a disabled facility and two baby changing units, which will have vandal proof fittings.

The kiosk, which will serve light snacks and drinks, will operate during the summer and it is hoped that work will be completed in time for this year’s school holidays.

Mayor of Fordingbridge Malcolm Connolly said: “Due to the popularity of the children’s play and picnic area, the town council feels the need to improve and enhance this area for the benefit of the community.

“During hot summer days the children’s play area is packed and with direct access to the river, where it is safe to paddle, it is understandable why this is so popular with families and the general public.

“A tearoom by the river is the perfect spot. The toilets are hopelessly antiquated and will be closed until we either demolish them or find another use for the building.”

Mr Connolly added: “It will be another amenity for people in the town to use that will add to the riverside experience. Parents can enjoy a cup of tea and have a natter while the children play in the park.

Part of the fencing removed from the rose garden will be used to close the gap between the Memorial Bungalow and the Memorial Gardens, to keep the area secure.

New Forest District Council has earmarked £230,000 from developers’ contributions for a variety of schemes to enhance open spaces in the town, including improving the children’s play area, installing new equipment and improving the accessibility of the recreation ground.