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Progress on £2.6m Bamber Bridge pitch hub as council ramps up investment

Posted on - 26th January, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Politics, Redevelopment, South Ribble News, Sport
The Bamber Bridge development off Withy Grove Park

South Ribble Council has now invested £1.8m into the Bamber Bridge playing pitch development off Withy Grove Park.

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The investment into the £2.6m flagship professional standard playing pitch hub represents one of the most significant steps to transform the leisure offer in the borough.

The site, opening this summer, will have two 3G artificial sports pitches complemented by an accessible sports pavilion to the southwest of the existing Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, serving the new artificial pitches and the Withy Grove play area.

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Councillor Mick Titherington onsite with Councillor Clare Hunter (Bamber Bridge East) and Councillor Chris Lomax (Walton-le-Dale East)

Councillor Mick Titherington, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m so pleased to see this development progress.

“I visited the site recently, and to see the pavilion nearly at full height, you can really see the scale of what we are doing here and can see how many people will benefit from this incredible, professional-standard facility. 

“As a council, we have invested a significant amount of money into the development because we know how much our community needs it.

“There are already some 244 football teams playing on formal pitches in the borough – including 48 adult teams, 60 youth teams and 136 mini-mixed teams.”

Read more: Penwortham sports club to benefit as £265k revamp work begins

Work gets underway at the development

The development is underway, with the pavilion now nearly at roof height and the roof being installed next month.

Once complete, work on the four new team changing rooms, showers, separate disability accessible changing facilities, and a changing room for officials will get underway.

The pavilion will also have a social room with a small kitchen and several storage rooms.

Read more: £150,000 funding set to improve tennis courts in three Preston parks

Councillor Titherington said: “There are currently only five full-sized artificial pitches in the borough and only two available on weekends. 

“The South Ribble Playing Pitch Hub is a key element of our ‘More People, More Active’ strategy.

“It aims to get more adults and children to participate in sport. At the heart of this strategy is the determination to provide the very best facilities for our residents.

“This professional-standard facility will be something we can be proud to have in our borough, and I cannot wait to see the facility up and running and to see people right across our community getting more active this summer.”

Read more: Penwortham sports club to benefit as £265k revamp work begins

Recent bad weather has affected the groundwork on the two 3G pitches, but the project is on track to open this summer – in time for the new football season.

The Football Foundation is supporting the project, with Leyland-born freestyle world record holder Liv Cooke offering input.

In addition to the pavilion and 3G pitches, the existing leisure centre car park will extend to the south to provide 77 car spaces.

Read more: £150,000 funding set to improve tennis courts in three Preston parks

It takes it to 206, including ten disabled spaces – and eight of the spaces will include electric vehicle charging facilities.

The site will also have two minibus spaces, two coach lay-bys, and 12 cycle hoops accommodating 24 cycles. Meanwhile, Brindle Road junction will be remodelled and improved.

A substantial tree planting scheme was approved, and 144 new trees will be planted on-site along with more than 1,000 whips (young trees).

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