COUNCIL chiefs are launching a bid for funding from the Football Foundation in order to build a 3G synthetic pitch in Evesham.
It’s part of a plan to see the synthetic pitch developed on land by the Evesham United Football Ground on Cheltenham Road to help boost sport participation in the town.
Back in 2016 Wychavon District Council accepted recommendations from a Playing Pitch Strategy which identified the need for a synthetic turf pitch in Evesham to support the demand for more playing pitches due to the town’s growing population.
Grass pitches in the town currently suffer from significant condition issues and drainage problems – leading to matches being postponed and creating a barrier to residents playing sport.
A new 3G pitch council chiefs have said will prevent these issues and provide an alternative for many clubs, including Evesham Rugby Club and the Cricket Club who regularly suffer from flooding.
The expected cost of a 3G pitch and changing rooms is likely to cost about £1.3million.
Wychavon District Council are hoping to get funding for the project through money from housing developers and a grant of up to £500,000 from the Football Foundation.
In order to receive a grant, Wychavon must put together a bid for the cash which includes a list of requirements including tree surveys, ground condition and gaining planning permission to make sure the bid can go ahead.
As part of the process, councillors on Wychavon’s Executive Board last week approved taking up to £32,000 from their New Homes Bonus pot to enable the project to be listed on the Football Foundations’ Facilities Framework to start the application process.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Richard Morris said: “There was a playing pitch strategy undertaken in 2015 which was comprehensive across the whole of Wychavon. Out of that came two recommendations for synthetic pitches in Droitwich and in Evesham.
“We need the funds to release the Evesham proposal at the moment and that is the recommendation that from New Homes Bonus we allocate £32,000 to ensure we can develop the synthetic pitch in Evesham.
“Synthetic pitches bring a wealth of benefits to the community. It’s all weather, you can have more players over time on it and they can be guaranteed that they’ll get the games they’re going to play and it will enable us to develop more sports within the community.”