Strata scores at sports site

On target: Alan Sherriff, left and Strata chief executive Jim Wren in Grimethorpe
On target: Alan Sherriff, left and Strata chief executive Jim Wren in Grimethorpe
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HOUSE-builder Strata has given £10,000 to a project to help revitalise a former sports and social club near one of its developments in Grimethorpe.

The Doncaster firm’s donation has set the ball rolling for plans to build a floodlit games area – including a five-a-side football pitch, basketball and netball courts - at the site of the former Grimethorpe Miners’ Welfare Sports and Social Club.

At one time the six-acre ground on Brierley Road had been host to cricket, football and bowls sections, but the charitable trust that controlled it ran into difficulties and had been wound up.

In response to local concerns that the facilities would be lost, Alan Sherriff, former chair of Barnsley Building Society, and John Dennis, former chair of Barnsley Football Club, set up charitable company Access to Sport and Recreation.

And when they approached Strata, the company not only offered £5,000, but also persuaded Barnsley Council to hand over a further £5,000 out of the money it paid as part of the planning conditions.

Strata is building more than 100 new homes on Burntwood Road which runs alongside the six-acre sports ground.

Alan Sherriff said: “We’re delighted that the initiative has received such a significant boost from Strata. The site had become an eyesore in the community, but thanks to private and public sector funding we’ve been able to rebuild the cricket pavilion and have attracted football teams for the first time in over 10 years. It really feels like a new start for the area.”

Strata chief executive, Jim Wren, said: “Strata is always looking at ways to support the local communities and we’re happy that we could contribute to such an important initiative near our Aspect development and we’ll continue to seek ways to make a lasting difference in the area.”

Access to Sport and Recreation aims to raise a further £70,000 from the private sector, in addition to preparing a bid to Sport England.