WORK has started to expand a centre in Carterton to cater for the families of fallen service personnel during repatriations.

The £60,000 project will see a storage area at the Monahan Way pavilion converted into a private room where Royal British Legion staff can look after families.

Disabled toilets and the kitchen will also be upgraded in the project, which is due to be completed in April.

Funding has come from various groups, including the Military Community Covenant, the armed forces charity SSAFA, local music charity Hopeful Notes and Carterton Royal British Legion.

The pavilion, which is owned by West Oxfordshire District Council and is also used by sports teams, will operate as normal during the work.

Richard Langridge, council cabinet member for communities, said: “It is great to see work starting so soon after funding has been secured. This new room will provide many more facilities for residents, as well as a much-needed area for bereaved family and friends on repatriation days.”

Eveline Gillians, who organises refreshments with the U3A during repatriations, said: “This additional space will help, and be especially beneficial for bereaved families as somewhere for them to grieve with dignity and a place where they can spend time in privacy and comfort, both before and after repatriation ceremonies.”