ISLE OF Wight cable network operator, WightFibre, is to sponsor a new state-of-the-art sports facility for Newport Football Club.

The football and community stadium, to be built on land off The Racecourse, Whippingham, will be called WightFibre Park.

Newport FC say their stadium will be designed to get maximum community use out of its top-class facilities, which will include a grandstand, clubhouse and new 3G all-weather pitch, which would enable Newport to play up to Southern Football League Division 1 level, as the rules currently stand.

There is already great interest in developing women’s and junior football at the new stadium, while the Isle of Wight College and the Island’s public health service aim to use the facility for sports coaching courses and to encourage participation in football and other activities as a means of staying fit and healthy.

Work on the stadium should get underway once planning permission for the retail park at Newport’s former St George’s stadium is granted.

The St George's development will fund the club's relocation to Whippingham, with the application due to go before council planners later this month.

WightFibre chief executive, John Irvine, said: “As an Island company, WightFibre cares deeply about giving back to the Island.

"We are proud to put our name to what will be a fabulous new sporting venue, that will benefit our Island community.

“WightFibre Park will be a real hub, bringing together people of all abilities and uniting them in the name of sport.”

WightFibre Park’s new clubhouse, another feature at the stadium, will have space for public and business use, including a conference/function room to host community, private and business events on non-match days.

There will also be a viewing room for disabled and vulnerable people, intended for use by families and individuals from local disability and age charities, as well as the Mountbatten hospice.

Newport supporters' trust chairman, Paul Spreadbury, said: “As a business which is all about connecting people, WightFibre is the perfect company to partner us in what we are trying to achieve.

“Our vision is to establish Newport as a club at the very heart of the community, and we know Wightfibre have similar values.

"As well as being a home the club can be proud of, WightFibre Park will be a vibrant venue based around healthy activity the whole community can be part of and benefit from."

The stadium's facilities will cater for child and under-16’s football and for physical and learning disabilities clubs and charities on the Island, while the football club will offer coaching to at least four disabled football teams.

Other Island football clubs are keen to use the facility, as well as schools and five-a-side football teams.

Newport also aims to set up a female five-a-side league in the first season, which it hopes to grow into at least one, if not two, full-size ladies teams in the second season.