EAST Cowes Vics have agreed to share their Beatrice Avenue ground with local rivals Newport next season.

Newport will move into the rival Sydenhams Wessex Division 1 club's Whippingham ground until their proposed purpose-built stadium is constructed at The Racecourse on the outskirts of Newport.

Work on the new sports facility — which will include a clubhouse, grandstand and state-of the-art floodlighting system — will begin if plans for a retail park at Newport’s current St George’s Park ground are approved.

The development, if rubber-stamped, will fund the new stadium and it is hoped construction will get under way in the autumn.

Newport spokesman, Pete Westhorpe, said: “We are all very excited about moving into the new Racecourse stadium, but clearly this cannot be in time for the start of the 2019-20 season.

“This ground share provides us with the certainty we need to prepare for the next league campaign.

"We would like to thank East Cowes Vics for their support and we are looking forward to sharing their famous old ground next season.

“We are closely matched this season and I am sure this temporary arrangement will provide an extra competitive incentive next year.”

Gary Todd, spokesman for East Cowes Vics, said: “We may be rivals on the pitch, but we hope that through us agreeing to share our facilities, a bond will be formed between the two clubs which hopefully will last for many seasons to come."

Both clubs are currently well placed on 44 points in the league.

The arrangement has been submitted to the Sydenhams Football League for their ratification.