Funding bid to improve sports pitches at Sunderland Road Recreation Ground in Sandy

Town council says grass needs to be upgraded for long-term use
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Sandy Town Council is applying for a grant to help improve the sports pitches at Sunderland Road Recreation Ground.

The pitches are maintained by the council but continuous use over many years coupled with weather conditions and the clay earth has impacted the quality of the grass.

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The council is part funding the project but also applying for funding from the Football Foundation and Pitchpower Improvement Scheme to support the project. The council says it needs needs to submit samples of grass roots, soil tests, measurements of grass blade coverage among other requirements at three different times over a period of one year for all seven Sunderland Road pitches.

Sandy Town CouncilSandy Town Council
Sandy Town Council

A spokesperson for Sandy Town Council said: “Sunderland Road Recreation Ground is one of Sandy’s cherished open spaces which facilitates a variety of field events by football clubs, cricket clubs, personal trainers and community groups. Continuous use of the pitches over many years coupled with the weather conditions and the fact that the recreation ground is on Oxfordshire clay has prompted the need to enhance the quality of the grass on the pitches for long-term use.

"Overall, Sandy Town Council must prove its care for the pitches as this is crucial in determining how much funding the council will attract. The council will also have to joint fund part of the project.”

Central Bedfordshire Council Ward Councillor Simon Ford will also be supporting the application thanks to his experience in securing a similar grant for the Sandy Secondary School pitches which are used by Sandy Tigers FC.

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The Sunderland Road Recreation Ground football pitches are allocated to local clubs on a seasonal basis but occasional games may be permitted. The cricket square is leased to Sandy Cricket Club but is available for public use.

The recreation ground also features children’s play facilities, open space, senior, junior and mini football pitches, cricket pitch, car parking, a youth shelter and some skate board equipment (which is owned by Sandy Skateboard Association).

The council is also working with Sandy FC on future improvements to the football pitch at Bedford Road Recreation Ground.