Work has begun on new sports facilities at Archbishop Temple School in Fulwood.Advertisement
The Environment Agency will create three new football pitches and an artificial cricket wicket under the £54 Million Preston and South Ribble Flood Risk Management scheme.
The new facilities will allow two South Meadow Lane sports clubs to play during flood defence works, with the hopes of leaving a lasting sporting legacy for students and Preston grassroots sports.
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Andy Brown, Flood Risk Manager for Lancashire at the Environment Agency, said: “Archbishop Temple School have been really supportive of the scheme and the works to their grounds.
“To be able to create pitches for the clubs to use during construction and leave a lasting legacy as a result of the flood defence works is fantastic.
“We’re working to better protect communities from this risk, with climate change projection built into the design of flood defences to ensure they are fit for the future.”
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The work will reduce flood risk to 4,700 homes and businesses from Preston Riversway towards the M6 and Higher Walton.
David Taberner, Head of PE at Archbishop Temple School, said: “The new facilities are invaluable to us at Archbishop and the wider community.
“We will be able to play more sports and competitive matches once they are complete. We have been looking to improve our facilities for our students for some time. Working with the Environment Agency to achieve this will benefit us and the city of Preston well into the future.”
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The works will also benefit Preston communities by creating more grass football pitches and cricket facilities.
Ivan Catlow, Headteacher at Archbishop Temple School, said: “The work to improve our football pitches is about so much more than rehousing a sports team due to work on flood defences.
“Led by the EA, everyone involved quickly realised the impact and legacy such a project could have on the lives of so many children. Children and adults alike are going to have some of the best sports pitches to enjoy for many years to come.
“The sustainability of this project is as important a feature as the pitches themselves. Grass pitches are a premium, and I am excited to say three of the best in Preston will be at Archbishop Temple Church of England High School. I cannot thank the staff and volunteers enough, who have worked tirelessly to make this project happen.”
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The Environment Agency received planning permission for the flood defence in April 2021.
Archbishop Temple School and both sports clubs have worked closely with the project team on the new facilities, as there is currently a shortage of grass football pitches, meaning grassroots clubs have struggled to play games and secure fixtures.
The provision of sports pitches is a requirement of the planning process with Sport England.
The new South Meadow Lane, set for completion in 2023, will mitigate flooding for Preston Sports Club and BAC/EESocial and Sports Club Association. During construction, both will be temporarily disrupted.
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BAC/EE Club will use the facilities during the construction of the flood defences.
Flood defence works will impact the clubs for around 12 months from June 2022. Once work is complete, the clubs and their facilities will be reinstated and brought back into full use.
For more information, visit – www.thefloodhub.co.uk/PSR
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