AFTER a ten- year struggle Malmesbury Youth Football Club has finally been given planning permission to build a new changing block.

The club is in desperate need of a new changing facility and the young footballers have been making do with a portable cabin for nearly a decade.

Now after years of bouncing plans back and forth North Wiltshire District Council has agreed to give the build the go ahead.

The new block will be built on the club's ground at the rear of the Red Bull pub in Bristol Road just outside Malmesbury, and it is expected to cost £300,000.

The club is the biggest youth organisation in Malmesbury with around 300 members in 12 boys and one girls teams covering all ages from under 8 to under 17.

President of the club and councillor, Ray Sanderson, said: "We are absolutely over the moon and the kids can't wait for it to be built.

"The reason it has taken so long is because we are in an area of outstanding natural beauty so it had to be absolutely right to fit in with the area.

"It has been a long struggle but we have finally got there."

The mobile changing room that is in place at the moment has no heating and no showers for the teams to use.

The new mini clubhouse will have showers, central heating and a small kitchen.

The club has already raised £240,000 to fund the build and organisers hope to have another £60,000 by the beginning of next season.

Graham Brown, who manages the under 12's, said: "The new block will be something we will be proud to show off to other teams rather than embarrassed, which is how we have felt until now.

"It has been a long time coming and to actually put something in bricks and mortar will be fantastic.

"This is a culmination of a lot of hard work those involved and we are absolutely ecstatic.

"It will put us up there with the likes of Chippenham and Trowbridge and give us a place we can call home, and our own identity.

"We have some ideas for raising the final £60,000 such as lottery funding and our own events.

"I am sure we won't have a problem getting it together. Compared to the amount we have achieved already it isn't that much."

Coun Sanderson, who has been club president for nearly 25 years added: "It will be great for parents as well not having to take muddy wet kids back home to get cleaned.

"Years ago we talked about this and now it seems like a reality."

Anyone who would like to donate can call club secretary Marion Picter on (01666) 822623.