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Football pitch at Thetford Leisure Centre could be replaced with new 3G turf

PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 August 2018

An example of a 3G football pitch. Picture: FA.

An example of a 3G football pitch. Picture: FA.

Archant

A Breckland football pitch could be in line for an upgrade, with the district council looking to kick off plans to replace it.

Currently, Thetford Leisure Centre is home to a sand-dressed astroturf facility, which is due to be replaced in the next 18 months.

However, rather than renewing this turf, Breckland Council is to begin looking into resurfacing it with 3G artificial grass.

A report going before the council’s cabinet next week has revealed it has been approached by Norfolk County Football Association to explore the possibility, in a project which would be supported by the FA.

The report says the project would tie in with a national Football Association initiative, which aims to provide every local authority nationwide with improved football facilities by 2020.

It says the scheme would not only benefit the community, but also several football clubs in the area, including Thetford Bulldogs, Thetford Town and Mundford.

Chris Brooks, the officer who prepared the report, said it would provide a boost to the area, recommending cabinet members agree to carry out a feasibility study into the project.

He wrote: “The project will provide a high quality sport facility in the district and will improve the overall offer of the leisure centre, providing a facility to the community that is not available elsewhere in town.

“3G artificial grass pitches can be suitable for other sports, such as rugby and American football.

“Additional activities can be catered for such as football parties and walking football. Professional clubs in the region are expected to be interested in further developing training sessions for their junior academy programmes at the centre due to the improved surface.”

The feasibility study into the option is estimated to cost between £8,000 and £10,000, though the report says this would be reimbursed and absorbed within the project costs if it is successful.

It is not yet clear how much the project would cost, however similar projects have cost around £650,000.

The report does, however, state it would be unlikely to cost this much, as existing infrastructure at the centre limited what would need to be done.

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