Pitch-ing in to build new sports facilities

PUBLISHED: 17:37 05 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 May 2010

Dr Michael Firth at the site of the all weather pitch

Dr Michael Firth at the site of the all weather pitch

WORK on Royston s £600,000 all-weather pitch will finally get under way next month. The foundations for the pitch, which is being built on land at The Meridian School in Garden Walk, are being prepared. and it is expected that the laying of the surface w

WORK on Royston's £600,000 all-weather pitch will finally get under way next month.

The foundations for the pitch, which is being built on land at The Meridian School in Garden Walk, are being prepared. and it is expected that the laying of the surface will be completed in mid July.

Floodlights and fencing will be installed during June and July and the facility should be available for use in August.

Dr Michael Firth, headteacher at Meridian, hailed a "significant development" for sport in Royston.

He said "It is well over 10 years since planning began for an artificial pitch at Meridian and now the pitch is a reality.

"This could not have happened without the contributions from our funding partners - of which Johnson Matthey Sports and Social Club has been most influential.

"With their financial backing, others were keen to help. This is a significant development for sport in the community and I am sure it will be very popular with our many clubs."

The Meridian site was chosen from a list of several possible locations in the town, and the type of pitch chosen meets both Football Association and International Hockey Federation standards. It is anticipated the pitch will also be used for other sports, including cricket and netball.

Royston Town Football Club has been heavily involved in the scheme, and has worked alongside Meridian to put together a Sports Development Plan for Royston.

Alan Barlow, president of Royston Town FC, said: "We intend to move all the training for our adult teams to the all weather pitch at the start of next season and it is also likely that a number of the teams from Royston Town Youth will make use of it.

"Longer term we envisage that 11-a-side competitive matches may be staged at the facility and we're also looking at how we can promote the idea of a soccer academy.

"This is a fantastic achievement, and long overdue and the club is looking forward to playing a major role in how the facility is used and managed."

Funding for the £600,000 project is coming from a variety of sources, including a £250,000 grant from the Football Foundation and a donation of £150,000 from the Johnson Matthey Sports and Social Club.

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