FOOTBALL in Hartlepool has received a major boost after the town scooped over £600,000 to build a top of the range pitch.
Hartlepool Council has bid for and won £602,800 from the Football Foundation towards the cost of building a full-size floodlit 3G (Third Generation) artificial turf pitch at Brierton Sports Centre.
The remaining estimated £18,000 cost of the project will come from the council itself.
The pitch will be situated adjacent to the floodlit tennis courts in Catcote Road, on part of the former Brierton Community School site.
The project will involve the council working with a variety of different partner organisations - including Greatham Football Club which currently uses Brierton Sports Centre as its base – to further develop football in the town.
Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding, which will bring a significant new sports facility to Hartlepool and greatly enhance the facilities available at Brierton Sports Centre for people to hire.
“Coupled with the £50,000 which we recently received from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields Programme, this grant will provide many new opportunities for people in Hartlepool to take part in sport - which is a cornerstone of the 2012 Olympic legacy – and bring much-needed investment to the former Brierton Community School site.
“It also underlines the excellent working relationship which the Council’s Sport and Recreation Service has with both the Football Foundation and Durham Football Association, which previously provided a grant of over £1m for the development of the Grayfields site, which was completed back in 2006.”
Subject to planning permission, it is anticipated that work on the new football pitch will start later this year and be completed in the spring.
The pitch is part of wider plans for the redevelopment of the entire former Brierton Community School site – including for community sport, educational uses and housing - which have recently been the subject of public consultation.