A sports association is calling for the creation of a £500,000 fund to help develop sports facilities in Newark and Sherwood.

Newark Sports Association (NSA) is altering its focus since Nottinghamshire YMCA was chosen as the preferred partner to deliver a proposed new sports village.

A planning application for the sports village, next to Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, off Bowbridge Road, was submitted a fortnight ago.

Mr Tony Colton, chairman of the NSA, said the group’s focus should now be helping clubs to enhance their own facilities — for their benefit and that of the community.

It wants Newark and Sherwood District Council to set up the fund, to particularly help in the initial and end stages of funding for a facility.

Mr Colton said: “You could say that the role of the NSA ended with the YMCA taking on the sports village, but there is the capacity to assist the town in creating more developments.

“We are flying a kite by suggesting the £500,000 fund but it is a conversation that we want to have.

“One of the parts of the conversation about the development at Elm Avenue (the sports village) is what we are short of.”

'Social value often goes unrecognised'

Mr Colton pointed to a possible need for more tennis courts. The YMCA application included plans for three tennis courts, and the NSA could work with the district council to identify other sites to increase capacity.

“What we want is a focused agenda of where we could best put our (taxpayers’) money,” he said.

“If we recognise the social value of sport we must invest in sports clubs and organisations that deliver sport at little or no cost to the ratepayer.

“The social value that sport creates all too often goes unrecognised.”

No one from Newark and Sherwood District Council was available for comment.

-  Newark Sports Association will have a stall on Newark Market, on Saturday.

Sports clubs and associations will be promoting themselves and the development of local sports facilities.