Funding boost will give a sports pitch a new lease of life

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A £150,000 cash boost will ensure a legacy for sport across the Bognor Regis area.

Arun District Council has secured the monies from sporting legacy fund. This means local sports clubs will soon have a brand new all-weather 3G astro turf pitch to play on at the Arun Leisure Centre in Felpham.

It’s thanks to £150,000 of Olympic legacy funding secured by the district council from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund to replace the existing and-based pitch.

Without any funding the current pitch which is nearly 20-years-old would have had to be closed.

Arun’s cabinet member for environmental services with responsibility for leisure, Paul Dendle, said: “This is fantastic news for sports enthusiasts in the Arun district.

“The new 3G pitch will not only ensure that a quality facility is available for local football clubs to use, it will open up the facility to other sports teams such as rugby clubs, who could not use the old sand-based pitch.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Felpham Community College, our local football and rugby clubs and the University of Chichester who all supplied letters of support to accompany our funding application,” added Cllr Dendle.

The new 3G surface will replicate the qualities of natural grass but won’t become waterlogged in the winter so clubs will be able to use it all year round.

The council will also contribute some £210,000 towards the £360,000 needed to replace the pitch and upgrade its fencing and lighting.

Sport England have revealed more than 1,300 local sports projects across the country have now received National Lottery funding through Inspired Facilities, part of its Olympic 
and Paralympic legacy programme.

Sport England’s chairman, Nick Bitel, said: “A year on from the Olympics, this National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in the Arun district.

“With investment now on offer from our Inspired Facilities Fund until 2017, we look forward to supporting many more sports clubs in the region who play such a vital role in grassroots sport.”

This project is one of more than 300 projects receiving investment from the fourth round of the fund.

Arun say it will look to continue to invest in local leisure facilities building on the Olympic legacy by taking forward some specifically agreed projects contained within their recently adopted Leisure and Cultural Strategy for the district over the coming years.

To celebrate the award, Felpham Colts football club will be holding a free coaching session at the existing pitch on Monday, August 19 from 11am until 1pm.

For more details contact Inspire Leisure’s outdoor recreation team on 01243 850200.

For funding information visit www.sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities.