SPORTING dreams often take a while to come true and for Salisbury and South Wilts Sports Club the latest goal followed a 10-year build up.

But on Sunday, after a decade of discussions, fundraising and planning meetings, the club’s new pavilion was officially opened.

More than 400 sports players and enthusiasts attended the event at the club’s Wilton Road site to cheer on patron Lord Marland as he declared the building open.

The clubhouse, which will be used by South Wilts Cricket Club, Salisbury Hockey Club, Sarum Orienteers, South Wilts Rugby Club and the local community, cost £1.35million.

Through tireless fundraising the clubs put £250,000 towards the cost, with the remainder coming from Sport England, Wiltshire Council, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the National Hockey Foundation and England Hockey.

The club’s hockey pitch has also been resurfaced.

The new pavilion, which has modern changing rooms, showers, a bar, social areas and meeting rooms, replaces the dilapidated 1950s clubhouse which will now be demolished to allow five houses to be built on the site.

“There is no doubt that the quality of the facility will help us to increase the participation in all sports,” said the club’s project and development director Peter Curtis.

“For many years the pavilion project has been on the drawing board but the vision to further develop the sports club will not only provide an upgrade in the changing and social facilities but will also have a greater focus and benefit for the local community. We will also have the benefit of a full time sports development officer funded by Sport England.”

Bruce Cruse, national funding and facilities manager for the ECB said: “The ECB is pleased to invest in this worthy project and to give a boost to this grass roots sports facility. We hope that the impetus we have given will see more young cricketers – boys and girls – joining the club. It also pleases us to make a grant where other sports will benefit from the investment. We believe that in the coming years the club will go from strength to strength.”