26th Sep, 2020

Backing sought for new 3G pitch

Rob George 19th Jul, 2019

COUNCIL chiefs are being asked to give the green light for a £1.5million 3G football pitch next to Evesham United’s Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium, the Observer can reveal.

Members of Wychavon District Council’s executive board will meet on Wednesday (July 24) to discuss the proposals for the development which could give Vale residents of all ages the chance to take to the field and enjoy the beautiful game.

Councillors will be asked to back the ambitious plans to enable the pitch, changing rooms and social space to be built.

Well over a third of the cost of the scheme will be funded thanks to a huge £576,000 grant from the Football Foundation and councillors will be asked to fund the remaining costs from the cash pot paid into by developers of new homes across the district.

The bold bid completes a three-year review of playing fields in the district which kicked off in 2016 to look into shortfalls in football pitch provision across the Vale, especially in light of the South Worcestershire Development Plan which examined how the area needed to address population growth in the next decade.

A need for two or three additional 3G synthetic turf pitches in Wychavon was identified in the Playing Pitch Strategy, located near homes to ensure the pitches could be sustained.

The Evesham bid is one of two proposed 3G pitches in the district with another being planned for Droitwich.

Jem Teal, Wychavon’s Community Development Manager said: “The Evesham United location was identified as presenting the ideal opportunity for a 3G pitch and the grant process with the Football Foundation began in January 2018.

“After being awarded the cash, the project seeks to construct a self contained venue comprising of a 3G synthetic turf pitch, energy efficient floodlighting, a pavilion with changing rooms and a social area and car parking.”

It’s hoped the cash will see Vale discover the football stars of the future and councillors will ask Evesham United to manage the site under the guidance of a part time site manager.

All of the income from the hiring of the venue will be ploughed back into the running costs while cash will be set aside should the surface need to be replaced in the future.

Before any work can start, a footpath will need to be diverted and building could kick off in September if council chiefs back the scheme.

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