A FORMER cricket pavilion with a spectacular view of Bournemouth’s old Dean Park ground has been reopened as a venue for training and conferences.

Dean Park Training will be both a base for coaching people who work in early years education and a venue for hire to businesses.

The business has been set up by Dean Park Day Nursery and Park School, which bought the former Dorset and Hampshire cricket ground in 2014.

The pavilion, which has been out of use since the 1980s and was boarded up, looks out over 6.5 acres of sports fields. It has been refurbished and renamed the Gallery, which can accommodate around 40 people with its main venue plus breakout rooms.

Cricket was first played at Dean Park in 1871 and over the years, it hosted WG Grace, Prince Ranjitsinhji and the Duke of Edinburgh. A display of its history stands in the corridor leading to the Gallery.

The new business hopes early years staff and childminders from across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will come to training courses.

The training is led by Kelly Yates, nursery manager at neighbouring Dena Park Day Nursery, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the sector and was early years adviser for Bournemouth council.

She said: “We’re excited to celebrate with Bournemouth’s thriving business community and fellow early years professionals, after what has been many months of hard work and passion to restore and revive such an important piece of Bournemouth’s local history.

“Over the past three years, we have been pleased to see the pavilion being once again filled with sport and daily usage by the children at Dean Park Day Nursery, Park School and many other local schools.

“It’s been brought back to life for the next generation and now others have the opportunity to access the facilities too.”

Park School headteacher Melanie Dowler said: “The unique site and facilities at Dean Park offer Park School children and the children at surrounding schools the chance to train and compete in a wide range of sports in a safe and inspiring environment.”

She added: “The revitalisation of the pavilion and the opening of the Gallery begins a new chapter in the history of the ground and offers so many opportunities for local businesses and educators to connect and benefit the future of local children. The versatility and expertise that Kelly brings is a great asset to the company and we are looking forward to working alongside Dean Park Training and Dean Park Day Nursery in the future.”