THE LONG-running £150,000 plus scheme to redevelop Helmsley's sports pavilion, out door swimming pool and team facilities, is well under-way and could be completed next year.

The first of three phases to provide team changing rooms and area,showers and a new kitchen is nearing completion, says Chairman of the Helmsley Sports Field Association, Chris Parkin.

The next part of the development of the picturesque playing field area on the edge of the market town, will be to refurbish social rooms for community and team use, while the third project will be exterior landscaping and drainage of the car park.

"It will be a real asset not only to Helmsley and the surrounding area but also for our tourists," said Coun Parkin who is also chairman of the Town Council.

One of the highlights of the scheme has been the refurbishment of the 50 year-old outdoor pool, one of only about 100 outdoor pools still surviving in the country, he said. A pitched roof has been provided over flat-roof changing areas, extensive re-decoration work carried out and preovision being made for a light refreshment purchase area.

Funding has come from various organisations, said Coun Parkin, including the Co-operative Soc iety and Ryedale District Council.

Local fund raising for the venture has recently been given a big boost thanks to £3,000 being raised through the Helmsley 10k run, and the big annual November 5 Bonfire event is making a comeback this year.