THE finishing touches are being put to the eagerly awaited new Barton Pavilion.

In May, the former building was bulldozed after 40 years in Barton Village Road recreation ground.

The Oxford estate’s dilapidated clubhouse was renowned for its leaking roof, smelly changing rooms, collapsed sewers and failing floodlights.

But a new £350,000 building is being prepared, ready for its grand opening at the end of the month.

Barton Community Association secretary Sue Holden said the new pavilion, which will house changing rooms, bar and social area, kitchens and storage, was long overdue.

She said: “This will be a fantastic area for the whole community to use and benefit from.

“Barton has been looking forward to this for a long time.

“I’m really impressed by what I have seen. The city council has done a really good job.”

It has been built with money from the council and the developers behind Ellington Court in Edgecombe Road.

About £140,000 of the money was donated by developer Barrett Homes when it developed the former Fox Pub site.

The pavilion is designed to be a permanent building, but the way it is constructed will allow it to be repositioned if the football pitches are moved as part of the council’s Barton West housing development. The new building will be home to teams including Headington Amateurs and according to the council meets the latest Sport England and Football Association standards.

It is also hoped the new building will boost income for The Phoenix, the umbrella organisation that will run the new pavilion, through hiring it out for community functions.

The pavilion will officially open on Sunday, August 28, to coincide with the Barton United Five-a-Side Fun Day, and Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas has been invited to cut the ribbon for the grand unveiling.

Mick Beesley, chairman of Barton United, said the new building was very impressive.

He said: “The old building was rather dilapidated, and not welcoming at all.

“The new pavilion will be a fantastic sports, social and community venue for everyone to use.

“It is 100 miles away from what we had before in terms of facilities.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has helped bring this to fruition.”