Net gain for town’s football teams

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Plans to bring Biggleswade’s football pitches into the 21st century will go in show next week.

Bedfordshire Football Association is holding two consultation events for people to see their plans to develop a new football facility at Central Bedfordshire Council’s Kings Reach development.

CBC and the county’s football governing body announced partnership talks in March over the site, which is required to provide three grass football pitches.

Bedfordshire FA is proposing to manage these as a community football facility, while also bringing in external funding to deliver a 3G artificial grass pitch (adjacent to St Andrews CofE Lower School), a changing facility, community building and on-site parking.

This is aimed at enhancing youth and grassroots football, in part, because there is a lack of 3G facilities in the east of the county. Bedfordshire FA will hire the facility out to local clubs at preferential rates. Any profit will be invested back into football and the local community ensuring a sustainable model that will benefit local residents as well as local football clubs.

Details of the project, which has also been approved by Biggleswade Town Council, were recently available to view in Biggleswade Library. Now Bedfordshire FA will hold an evening event at St Andrews Lower School on Tuesday, July 12, from 6-9pm, where FA staff will present their proposals to parents and other local residents, answer any questions and provide feedback forms.

The second consultation event will be held on Thursday, July 14, from 10am until the evening at Biggleswade Town Council offices at The Old Court House on Saffron Road.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Community Service, said: “We are pleased to work in partnership with Bedfordshire Football Association and support this proposal which provides a unique opportunity for a football facility in Biggleswade.

“Our Leisure Facilities Strategy identified the need for artificial pitch provision in the east of Central Bedfordshire and the county FA’s plans fit the bill. But, as it will be a facility for everyone, it is only right that the views of the community are taken into account, so I’d urge residents to have their say.”

Charlie Mann, Bedfordshire Football Association Facilities and Funding Officer, said: “This community facility will bring much needed 3G pitch provision to Biggleswade. After looking at our 3G pitch mapping for the county, Biggleswade was highlighted as priority area for a full size 3G given the amount of football played in the town.”