£50,000 Olympic legacy boost for Whalley playing fields

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Whalley’s QEII Playing Fields are set to receive a £50,000 boost as part of the region’s Olympic legacy.

It is one of seven North West sites to share in a £348,000 funding pot for vital improvements to sports and playing fields.

The National Lottery money, distributed through Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund, will be used to create 18 high-quality sports pitches that will be protected from developers for at least 25 years. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sport England’s Chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “Thanks to these investments, generations of young people in the North West can look forward to playing sport on great sports pitches. Playing fields are vital sporting resources for local communities so it’s vital that we provide both investment and protection.”

The Whalley funding goes to the Whalley QEII Trust, the body responsible for managing the playing fields off Mitton Road. The five-acre site currently consists of one full size 11-a-side pitch, one junior 11-a-side pitch and one small sided pitch.

All three pitches are looked after and used by Whalley Juniors FC, which was founded in 1993. Unfortunately there are no changing rooms and the pitch drainage is very poor.The QEII Trust, Whahhey Juniors FC , the adjoining Sports Club (Cricket, Tennis and Bowls) and the Guide and Scout Group are working together to try to create a facility for all the young people of Whalley, which will include a meeting room, changing rooms a multi-use games area and an improvement to pitch drainage.

Local volunteers are also creating a Forest Garden in unused Woodland at the north of the site.