Funding from Cheshire East Council and the Football Foundation will help to improve the condition of five sports pitches across the borough.
The £200,000 funding will pay for a fleet of maintenance machinery to improve playing surfaces’ resilience and drainage; the council has also acquired a robotic line marker to ensure uneven white lines don’t lead to disputes over penalties!
Cheshire East Council has provided £100,000, which has been matched by the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports charity backed by the Premier League, the FA and the government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Funding will allow Ansa, the council’s environmental services company, to buy the specialist equipment to maintain sports pitches across the borough. Ansa staff are applying a new bespoke maintenance programme, using the new equipment to improve each playing field so that football teams can enjoy a better quality of surface to play on.
Playing fields benefitting from the new maintenance programme are:
- King George V, Crewe;
- Back Lane, Congleton;
- Jim Evison, Wilmslow;
- Sutton Lane, Middlewich; and
- Mary Dendy, Great Warford.
Cllr Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council chair of environment and communities, said:
We are grateful to the Football Foundation, the FA and the Premier League for supporting us with this important project.
“Improving the quality and durability of our sports pitches is overdue and we hope that by offering better maintenance and a higher standard of facilities, this will encourage more people to take up sport and lead active lives.”
Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said:
This is great news for the local community. This will support people’s ability to play our national game locally and, therefore, help unlock soccer’s many benefits to physical and mental wellbeing.
“We are committed to transforming the face of grassroots football facilities and it is therefore very welcome news to hear that this funding will support Cheshire East Council to develop the pitches at these five playing fields for their local communities.”