£50,000 grant boost for sports pitch
PLANS for an all-weather sports pitch in Royston have moved a step closer to reality following the award of a £50,000 grant. Sport England has given the money towards the cost of the pitch, which will be built at the Meridian School. It is hoped it will b
PLANS for an all-weather sports pitch in Royston have moved a step
closer to reality following the award of a £50,000 grant.
Sport England has given the money towards the cost of the pitch, which will be
built at the Meridian School. It is hoped it will be open by August 2009.
Mike Thrower, from the organising
committee, said: "We're over the moon
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to get this cash. A lot of hard work has
gone into this project so far, and we're
getting closer to our target."
More than half of the estimated
£620,000 needed for the project has now
been received from various sources,
including the Meridian School itself, and
the Brian Leslie Racher Trust. The project
has also benefited from a £150,000
donation from the Johnson Matthey
Sports and Social Club.
Mr Thrower says the organisers will
now be applying for a grant from the
Football Foundation's grass roots
scheme, which should cover the rest of
They are also awaiting confirmation
that they will receive £50,000 from North
Herts District Council, which pledged
the money earlier this year.
Mr Thrower said: "That could be a
potential spanner in the works.We need
final approval for that £50,000 before we
can go ahead, and if North Herts turn us
down we may need to turn to the local
community for help.
"It's been a fantastic effort thus far from
everyone involved, and we're nearly
The floodlit pitch would be the first of
its kind in Royston, and would be suitable
for several sports, including football,
hockey, and netball.
A spokesman for Meridian said: "The
facility will be available to schools during
term time, and after school hours for
activities such as the Extended Schools
"Weekday evenings and weekends will
be reserved for community use.
"Royston has no artificial pitch for
training, coaching or matches, and the
new pitch will help compensate for the
fall in the number of outdoor sporting
facilities that the town has experienced
in recent times."
Conditional planning permission for
the pitch was granted by North Herts
District Council in August.
It is expected that confirmation of the
Football Foundation grant will be
received in February.
Mr Thrower said: "Once we've got all
the funding sorted, we can put the
scheme out for tender.
"We hope construction will begin in the
Easter holidays, to minimise disruption
at the school, and that the pitch will be
open by August.