Council to fund new 3G pitches in Crowborough

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Update: On Wednesday Wealden District Council’s Cabinet approved a package of financial support to develop a new 3G football pitch and improve the existing hockey pitch at Beacon Academy for both the schools and public use.

At the same meeting on 15th March, Cabinet members received a progress report about the Council’s Sports Hub project near Hailsham.


Wealden District Council are considering whether to approve funding of £600,000 from developer contributions for the improvement of the current artificial hockey pitch and the provision of a new astroturf 3G pitch for football at Beacon Academy.

Wealden District Council to consider contributing £600,000 towards new all weather hockey & football pitches at Beacon Academy.
Open Day at Crowborough Hockey Club

Hockey

The report, to be considered by the Council’s Cabinet next week, explains that the hockey pitch was installed in 1999. Wealden’s Playing Pitch & Open Space Strategy, published last year, assessed the quality of the pitch as ‘poor’ and the Council’s consultants suggested that it is nearing its ‘end of life’. The Council raises funds from developers undertaking new building projects to help fund infrastructure, facilities and services for the community. £42,000 is from the Rockington Nursery (Jordan’s Nursery), but the bulk of the funds available for the work is derived from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

The report explains Beacon Academy have identified £65,000 towards improvements to the hockey pitch (comprising £15,000 fundraised by the school and £50,000 from a proposed donation from the hockey club).

Football

The Football Foundation’s Local Football Facilities Plan identified Beacon Academy as a possible location for a 3G pitch and as a priority project for the Sussex FA. The cost for a new 3G pitch is estimated at £1.1m. Sussex FA have indicated that up to 60% of the funding may be available. Land adjacent to the hockey pitch (currently a grass football pitch) has been earmarked.

During the school day Beacon and Grove Park students would be the primary users, but the report explains funding would only be provided by Wealden District Council on the assurance that facilities are open to wider community outside school hours.

The report will be discussed at Wealden District Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday. The report can be downloaded from the Council’s website: Cabinet – Wednesday, 15th March.

Originally published 10th March. Update 17th March.

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