More than £1m pledged to upgrade Norfolk football pitches

The FDC at Bowthorpe Picture: Archant

The FDC at Bowthorpe Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

More than £1m has been pledged to upgrade football pitches across the county.

The government investment will see a new floodlit 3G pitch built in Bowthorpe, a new changing pavillion in Hethersett and reopen a changing pavilion which was damaged by fire at Southtown Common Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth.

As much as £646,000 will go to the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe, where its existing natural turf Stadia pitch will be transformed into the new 3G playing surface.

It is hoped the new pitch will help to deliver and expand recreational, female and disability provision at the home of Norfolk FA, where £300,000 of investment will be used on building a central hub for disability football.

In Hethersett, £249,000 of funding will support the construction of a two-team changing pavilion to service both Hethersett Athletic FC and other users of Memorial Playing Fields, such as the village cricket and croquet clubs.

It is hoped this will increase the number of teams on offer, creating two girls' teams which would use Memorial Playing Fields for match fixtures, it would also support the formation of a village women's team.

In the village, partnership funding has been sourced via Hethersett Parish Council.

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At Southtown Common Recreation Ground, the £185,000 project will bring back into use a two-team changing pavilion, which was damaged in a fire, it will service the teams within Shrublands FC and other users of the community grass pitches.

Partnership funding was provided via an insurance claim and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The money comes as the government invests £39m in UK grassroots football as part of a major commitment to improving access to physical activity across the nation. 

Plans will see 116 projects across England receive funding to create and improve pitches, changing rooms and pavilions, so more local communities can access high-quality facilities. 

Mark Bullingham, FA CEO said: “This initial £39m investment from the government, the first tranche of the £230m recently allocated to transform grassroots football facilities across the country, will help people to get active again as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Having more quality facilities around the country will encourage new participation at every age group and from historically under-represented groups, level up health inequalities in left-behind communities, and make the playing experience enjoyable for everyone that plays the game.”