3G pitch worth nearly half-a-million pounds could come to town
PUBLISHED: 13:36 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 19 October 2019
Sports teams could soon enjoy a new pitch costing nearly half a million pounds after a council committed more than £90k to the project.
Breckland Council agreed at its cabinet meeting to set aside £96,000 to help fund the redevelopment of Breckland Leisure Centre and Waterworld's current multi-use games area into a 3G pitch.
The money from the council would be a contribution to the total cost of the project, which is expected to be around £440,000.
This includes the cost of the pitch, drainage works, fencing and maintenance.
Parkwood Leisure, which runs the sports centre on behalf of the council, has agreed to pay around £80,000 of the costs while the rest of the money is being sought from the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Football Association (FA), Premier League and Sport England.
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Mark Robinson, Breckland Council's executive member for community, leisure and culture, said: "If we're successful in our funding bid it will be fantastic news for Thetford and the surrounding areas as the new pitch would be available for use by local clubs and groups all year round.
"This would help encourage people to be more physically active while bringing communities together."
The current pitch was installed at the leisure centre in 2006 and a replacement pitch would be expected to last for at least 10 years.
A similar pitch was installed at Dereham Neatherd High School in 2014, while a small-sided pitch was built at Dereham Northgate High School in 2016.
The council has held initial discussions with the Football Foundation and, having now agreed a contribution for the project, will pursue the funding bid further over the coming weeks.
As well as being available to be hired by existing teams based at the leisure centre and surrounding area, the council said that it would be used to promote opportunities and increase inclusivity by hosting a 'street football league' to help tackle anti-social behaviour, women's football, walking football, and disability football.
Research undertaken by Breckland Council has shown that improving the facilities could get more people in the area active.