Work starting on £1.1m football pitch complex and clubhouse in Aylsham

From left - Nick Youngs, William Youngs, Steve French and Ian Potter checking the plans at the new s

From left - Nick Youngs, William Youngs, Steve French and Ian Potter checking the plans at the new site. Picture: JUST AYLSHAM. - Credit: Archant

A town is one step closer to having a new £1.1m 10-pitch football ground.

The first turf has been cut on what is now agricultural land at Cawston Road, Aylsham, for the 20-acre development due to open next summer.

It will be the new home of Aylsham Football Club and is part of a development for 250 houses and a clubhouse which can be used by community groups and sports teams.

Ian Potter, chairman of Aylsham Football Club, said: 'We are going from nothing to a purpose-built site. We will have one of the best facilities for people to train and play in Norfolk.'

He said the club, which has 15 teams of men, women, children, and teenagers, was integral to town life and hoped it could be used for different football competitions as well as a coaching base.

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Mr Potter added: 'There are not enough pitches and facilities available at present to meet the needs of the community. The project will change that and create sporting, social and professional opportunities for a wide range of ages, skills and interests.'

He hoped the number of teams could be increased to 22 within five years.

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The site will have three adult pitches; 125 car parking spaces; four changing rooms; one floodlit pitch; and a bar and meeting room.

Aylsham Football Club, which formed in 2008 from three previous groups, currently trains and plays at Bure Valley School, Aylsham High School and Aylsham Recreation Ground.

Work will start on the outdoor grass pitches next week and on the clubhouse in June.

The land for the sports site and homes was gifted by Youngs Farms, run by the family of rugby stars Ben and Tom Youngs. The family also gave £500,000 towards the football base.

Other funding came from Sport England, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, Aylsham Football Club, Broadland District Council, the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund

The 250 homes on Woodgate Farm, on Cawston Road, will be built on land belonging to Youngs Farms by Persimmon Homes after full planning permission was granted by Broadland council officers in October last year.

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