New football and tennis facilities coming to Potton - can you help complete £70k fundraising gap for 3G pitch?

£200,000 of funding has been secured for new football pitches and £100,000 secured for new tennis courts

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:56 pm

Potton councillors and the local sporting community are appealing for £70,000 to complete fundraising efforts for a "great new football facility" in the town.

Money has been secured to cover almost all of the cost of a new football facility for Potton, to be located at the Hutchinson Hollow, while the town will soon be receiving brand new tennis courts at Mill Lane.

Central Beds ward councillors Adam Zerny and Tracey Wye have worked closely with Potton United Football Club, Potton United Youth Football Club, Potton Tennis Club and Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) to secure more than £42,000 of Section 106 funding. CBC has also awarded a further £25,000 Community Asset Grant for the project.

A new 3G pitch is coming to Hutchinson Hollow.

Cllr Wye and Cllr Zerny told the Chronicle: "In addition, CBC has agreed to provide compensation for the dilapidated state of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), an old hard-surfaced area at the Hollow, once used for sports and originally provided by the council. CBC will provide £120,000, split between the football club and the tennis club."

Both Potton United FC and Potton United Youth FC have long wished to build an all-weather football facility in the town and the clubs have joined forces to make it happen.

With £200,000 secured against a target of £270,000, the football clubs are now looking for local businesses or individuals prepared to contribute financially, offer sponsorship or even pay for naming rights.

Potton United Football Club Chairman, Alan Riley, paid tribute to the amount of work undertaken by Potton United Youth, exploring various sites ultimately resulting in a closer collaboration between the two clubs. He said "Whilst we are still some way short of target, we are very grateful for the valued assistance provided by Councillors Adam Zerny and Tracey Wye and are looking forward to the facility being in place for use by the clubs and the wider community."

The new tennis courts design.

The completed football project will bring about a new 55 x 36 metre 3G pitch replacing the old MUGA and existing tennis courts next to the main football pitch at the Hollow. The facility will also be available to the wider community and other teams/clubs/groups in the area, bringing opportunities for girls/women's teams and walking football.

Planning permission for the project will be sought in the near future and the football clubs are hopeful work will commence later this year.

Meanwhile, Potton Tennis Club will re-locate to Mill Lane and build smart new courts on the playing fields adjacent to the playground.

The tennis club has also received £50,000 funding from Potton Consolidated Charities and £5,000 from the Wixhamtree Trust.

Potton Tennis club said: "The tennis club are very grateful for the support for the new courts given by Potton Consolidated Charity and Potton Town Council and look forward to welcoming the local community to play on the new facilities later this year."

There will be two all-weather full sized courts which will be floodlit and available for public hire and use by the local schools.

Planning permission has just been granted and the tennis club hopes work will commence in the coming months and the courts should be available for use this year.

Cllr Wye concluded: “It’s an exciting time for sport in Potton, and these new facilities will bring year-round opportunities for clubs and players. The new 3G pitch and tennis courts will be well used by our growing community."

Cllr Zerny said: "These facilities are just what Potton needs and it will be great to see them up and running in the very near future. The clubs have worked really hard on this and it has been a pleasure to be involved."

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The hard-surfaced multi-use games area at The Hollow no longer meets the needs of the football and tennis clubs.

"The council have therefore worked closely with local clubs to agree a solution which supports development plans for new improved facilities within Potton, in lieu of repairs being undertaken to the old multi-use games area.

"The Council is pleased that £120,000 of funding towards the construction costs of the new facilities has helped to enable the clubs’ development plans to be progressed, which will improve access to sport within Potton and the surrounding areas.”

If you’d like to help complete the funding for the football facility, contact Potton United FC Chairman Alan Riley via [email protected] or Potton United Youth Chairman Stephen Judd at [email protected]