HARROW councillors Keith Burchell and Bill Stephenson took turns in front of the cameras to help publicise the major new sports centre being developed at the Prince Edward Playing Fields in Canons Park.

T hey were interviewed for a Sport England video about the charity's promotion of grass roots sports, and the new centre was used as an example of local people working together to turn derelict playing fields into a community sports centre.

Councillor Stephenson, the council cabinet's portfolio holder for education and lifelong learning, said: "This will be a wonderful facility for local people and, of course, a permanent home for Wealdstone FC.

"This is an area with three schools nearby which needs more sports facilities and I am very excited about seeing it up and running."

A 4,000-capacity stadium is being built, but the £7.3 million state-of-the-art development, will not just provide a home for the Stones.

Facilities will also include a floodlit artificial pitch, floodlit tennis courts, grass pitches and a health and fitness centre, and will be open for use by local schools and the community, under an agreement between Harrow Council and the Prince Edward Playing Fields Trust.

The council said work was progressing well, with the pitches expected to be in use for the beginning of the 2004/5 season.

The sports centre is being created through a partnership between the council, the trust, Sport England, Stadia Management and Wealdstone FC.