COUNCILLORS have said further discussion is needed over plans for a Men’s Shed project on the Recreation Ground.

Fordingbridge Town Council’s finance and policy committee last week discussed an application for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding towards refurbishing of the old toilet block and building a second building in the Recreation Ground for a Men’s Shed project by Avon Valley Shed.

Councillor Alan Lewendon felt the plans, which now included a second building, were “getting away from the original idea of just utilising the toilets”.

The meeting heard the activities would need a larger space to accommodate future growth.

Ian Lemon, of Avon Valley Shed, said the group would be applying for other grants and added: “It would be nice to feel as though Fordingbridge Town Council would support us financially because what we are trying to achieve is for the benefit of the community in Fordingbridge. As far as the overall vision it is entirely our intention to refurbish the toilet block as an initial start to this project but if we are successful that might not be sustainable in itself.

“We have ambition for this project and ambition to help the people of Fordingbridge and surrounding area. This kind of organisation has a proven track record across the country and is extremely beneficial for the mental health and general wellbeing of people who are involved in it.”

Cllr Jackson said the council needed a masterplan for the Recreation Ground.

Councillor Edward Hale said the toilet block still needed “smartening up” and having the Men’s Shed was a way of doing that but he said extending it was not something the council had considered.

Gary Knight of Avon Valley Shed said the building would ultimately be a council asset. He said: “The problem for us if we are going to invest time and effort and money in renovating the building we need to know there is potential for us to expand for future growth of the Men’s Shed.”

Councillor Edward Hale said the council supported the Men’s Shed but he had concerns whether it was the right place for a larger building and councillors needed to look at the proposals again.

The council agreed in principle to support the Men’s Shed with CIL funding with an amount to be agreed later. Further discussions will now be held about the Men's Shed project.