A new state-of-the-art third generation artificial grass pitch and multi-sports facility costing almost a million pounds is set to be given the green light.
Members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Community Services Committee voted to recommend an investment of £835,000 in constructing the pitch at Roefield, Clitheroe.
Plans for a toilet block and additional facilities are also being considered. If given the go-ahead, the pitch could be open by September next year.
Leader of the council, Coun. Ken Hind, welcomed the development: “This is an exciting project and we are committed to construct an all weather pitch with an artificial grass surface of sufficiently high quality on which to play matches. The existing none 3G surface will be retained and refurbished for other sports, tennis, netball, cricket and others. The facility will be open to the whole Ribble Valley community and we hope clubs all over the borough will utilise it.”
The scheme follows a £1m. proposal from the Lancaster Foundation and the newly-formed Ribble Valley Community Sports Trust for two all-weather, multi-use pitches, however, the plans were declined and officers were asked to prepare options for the borough council to provide a new artificial surface facility at Roefield.
Deputy chairman of the community committee, Coun. Richard Newmark, stated: “We are very grateful to the Lancaster Foundation as it led the way on the project. We will work with Clitheroe Wolves, which is a hugely important club in the Ribble Valley with 49 football teams of both boys and girls. We expect that they will be using the new facility extensively and welcome working with Ross Hibbert, the chairman.”
Mayor of Clitheroe and Salthill borough councillor Pam Dowson, added: “This is a brilliant idea for all Ribble Valley communities and all sports. My personal concern is the growing obesity amongst young people, so increased availability for sport and exercise is going to be so important. This facility will be used by all ages for everything from tennis to walking football.”
Similar views were shared by Coun. Sue Hind, who said: “Sports organisations have pointed out we need four 3G facilities in a borough of this size.
“It has to be hoped that the Lancaster Foundation will consider supporting similar facilities in other parts of the borough as a committee we have to be constantly looking at ways to expand our council facilities where it can afforded.”