Douglas City Council says it is continuing to explore options to refurbish changing rooms at Spring Valley playing fields in Pulrose.

Councillors and officers have recently met officials from the Isle of Man Football Association and Pulrose United FC, along with South Douglas MHKs Sarah Maltby and Claire Christian, in a bid to progress the project.

After rejecting tenders which were considered well above budget for such work, the local authority’s regeneration and community committee is investigating the potential for either a prefabricated building to be installed or to lease the site to the one of the football clubs which use the pitches at Groves Road.

Along with Pulrose, Douglas Athletic and Douglas and District currently play on the Groves Road pitches. Further negotiation will also take place with the IoMFA, UK charity the Football Foundation and the planning authority about the specification for the building and the potential for it to be reduced in size after planning permission was previously granted.

Last year plans (22/01456/B) were approved for a single-storey building which would include four changing rooms, two referee changing rooms and separate spectator facilities of male, female and disabled toilets which will also include baby changing facilities, a serving hatch to serve refreshments to spectators, and a plant room.

Councillor Andrew Bentley, chairman of the regeneration and community committee, said: ‘As a council we have been striving for some time to work with football clubs to progress this matter and will continue to do so, considering all reasonable options at a fair price.

 ‘This includes reviewing again the potential for a prefabricated building or leasing the site to one of the clubs in the expectation that a club is more likely to be able to generate sponsorship and assistance from local businesses.

 ‘We will also explore the potential to further value engineer the proposal in an attempt to reduce the cost.’

It is intended to apply to the Football Foundation, seeking up to £250,000 to help meet the total cost for replacement facilities.

The former wooden clubhouse was was condemned following a council inspection in March 2022 after first being installed in 1990 with an estimated design life of 30 years.

A temporary changing facility was then put in place nearby. In February of 2022, the council said that the amount allocated in the capital budget for the project was £495,000.

It was revealed in December that more than £38,000 had already been spent by it on the project.

In April Mrs Maltby and Mrs Christian added their voices to calls for a plan to resolve the future of the project to be decided after being contacted by the clubs involved.