New 3G pitch plan for playing fields
- Credit: Alex Guest/Community Sports Foundation
A new football pitch costing £730,000 could be built to help meet demand from players in a town.
West Norfolk councillors are discussing whether the authority should give £263,000 towards the cost of building the floodlit 3G pitch off River Lane in King's Lynn.
A report to the council's ruling cabinet in November said the remainder would be met by the Football Association and the Football Foundation.
Now the council's environment and community panel has been asked whether it has any recommendations before the scheme is progressed.
The report said: "Sport England and the Football Association have identified insufficient artificial football pitches in west Norfolk, the only one being located at Lynnsport.
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"The existing 3G pitch has 92pc utilisation Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 9pm, and is therefore operating at near capacity."
"The FA and the Football Foundation will support the project and pending a funding application, the Football Foundation will contribute approximately 82pc of the cost due to the area of deprivation in which the proposed site lies."
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More than 50,000 players a year use the existing 3G pitch at Lynnsport, taking part in 13 clubs and three football leagues.
The report adds the growth of the women's game is increasing demand on facilities, while west Norfolk already lags behind the FA's standard of a 3G pitch per 25,000 residents.
It goes on: "Football is also a strong tool to improve community cohesion and improve local issues such as anti-social behaviour. A new 3G pitch would enable recreational football programmes to be delivered which could improve community cohesion and social engagement.
"As we recover from the pandemic, it will be more important than ever to be more inclusive and relevant. Many people and communities feel excluded, often unconsciously. If this occurs at local, grassroots level our residents feel excluded and sport participants do not represent the diverse population, leading to social isolation.
"Improving our sports facilities will act as an enabler to increase sports participation in one of the more deprived areas of our borough."
The money for the pitch would be repaid over 10 years from hire fees. The environment panel meets on Tuesday.