Grassroots football in Sheffield will be boosted after plans for the second of two multi-million pound hubs was agreed today, a council chief has said.
Two new floodlit artificial pitches will be built at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground, High Green, as the second phase of a £9.6m pilot scheme with the Football Association after councillors agreed proposals.
Work has already begun two 3G pitches at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, off Bochum Parkway, in Norton, were agreed in April and the project aims to bring more home-grown talent into football as well as saving Sheffield Council money on maintenance as more play is focused on fewer pitches.
Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “It’s great to see a major milestone has been reached with planning permission granted for the second new football facility, which will significantly improve the quality of grassroots football provision in Sheffield.”
Income generated from the hubs will be invested in sport facilities.
Coun Bowler added: “We will be protecting football facilities from a potential downward spiral of declining quality and falling participation and looking to better pitches, more people playing and new income to invest.”
At High Green, two natural grass pitches and a single-storey pavilion with eight changing rooms, a club room and coaching space will also be created. Three existing grass pitches and a cricket ground will be lost.
Councillors hailed it as a ‘good news story’ when proposals were discussed at a planning committee.
Coun Joyce Wright added: “I know this area well and at the moment as far as I know changing rooms are shared, both male and female, and females do play football there so it will be a better facility for the women anyway.”
A new £7m swimming pool and leisure centre, called North Active, is also being built at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground by the council.
Chapeltown Baths is to close next year as a result.