£100k Council grant kick starts Leek 3G pitch project

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Leek Town FC’s grass pitch at Harrison Park looks set to the be first in the Moorlands to be converted to an all weather 3G pitch following a District Council grant of £100,000.

Both Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy and Local Football Facility Plan have identified demand for three full sized 3G pitches across the District with the recommendation that one is sited in Leek.

For the last two years a partnership board involving the Council, the Club, Staffordshire FA and the Football Foundation has been working on this conversion project which will also see the pitch being made available for a wide range of community uses.

The estimated cost of the project is £665k and it is anticipated that £540k would be obtained via a funding application to the Football Foundation. The remaining £25,000 through fundraising efforts led by Leek Town FC.

Alongside the Academy and the Ladies and Men’s first teams, the Club currently has 15 junior teams for girls and boys and supports players with a disability.

Councillor Mark Deaville, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Sports, said: “Leek Town is a long-established, FA-chartered community club which offers a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages to benefit from the physical and social aspects of football.

“The current grass pitch is good quality but there is no scope for extensive use throughout the week and at weekends which means players currently have to travel to venues outside the Moorlands for both training and matches.

“We know there is a need for all weather pitch facilities in our District and the grant funding that the Council has agreed will go some way to addressing that by kickstarting the fundraising for this project in Leek. I’m delighted we have been able to offer the Club, and the wider community, this support and look forward to watching the development of this scheme with interest.”

The aim is that the conversion project would be completed in time for the start of the 2021/22 football season with the next steps being:

Submission of the funding bid to the Football Foundation in October
Football Foundation funding assessment panel decision in January 2021

If funding is secured, it is expected that the work would take place next summer with an anticipated opening date of September 2021.