Dear Community of Brockenhurst,

I am writing to update you on the MUGA and the wider Village Hall site.

Since the MUGA was launched, with immense support and funding from our community, we know there have been some regrettable instances of misuse, non-compliance with the existing Code of Conduct, and anti-social behaviour, which have led to complaints.

We are also, sadly, like a number of other areas in Brockenhurst, experiencing an increase in wider anti-social behaviour which can also impact on our neighbours.

We do take these issues very seriously, whilst also having to balance the needs of a community in which facilities for young people are so minimal.

When the MUGA was launched, the stated intention was that the community would run it, but that has not happened in the way we had expected, and so the Brockenhurst Village Trust (BVT) has had to pick up the responsibilities and significant expense.

One mitigation we have been exploring is erecting a high and lockable fence around the MUGA, to reduce stray balls and out of hours noise. However, the cost would run into tens of thousands of pounds for initial installation, plus ongoing costs to manage opening/closing and general security. We have so far, been unsuccessful in securing a grant, and a recent community crowd-funding drive failed to generate even one-tenth of the amount required. Our charity makes only a modest surplus, and Trustees are clear we cannot diminish our long-term reserves, so we have needed to reconsider our options.

As a result of all the above, Trustees have agreed a number of initiatives to address some of these issues.

  • To keep the MUGA open, we will be erecting a temporary, anti-climb fence, with lockable gates to control access. For an initial period, the MUGA will be opened and locked by staff and volunteers between the hours of 9am – 6pm. We expect this to be in place within the next few weeks. This will address issues relating to out-of-hours use and noise, and we will also assess its impact on anti-social behaviour, which we know is not limited to the MUGA.
  • The Trust will conduct an initial review once the temp fence has been in place for a minimum of four weeks. This time will be used to monitor the impacts of this intervention on activity across the whole site.
  • We do this reluctantly because we know the MUGA is an important community asset. But we also need to assess the continuing demand for such a facility, and we

will shortly be launching a village-wide consultation on all our facilities, including the MUGA, which will help inform our future planning. In the meantime, should you have further questions or concerns please email us at:

  • In respect of wider incidents of anti-social behaviour, which are not unique to us, we will be discussing the situation with the Parish Council, and our neighbourhood police team, and exploring increased use of CCTV, and options around securing the entire site at night.

I hope this provides a reassurance that we are taking concerns seriously, but also recognising that there are no very easy answers. Above all, we want to ensure that we continue to provide a Community Hub which we know so many of our community, young and old, tell us they need, and enjoy.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Plummer

Chair of Trustee

On behalf of The Brockenhurst Village Trust

May 30, 2024