Longridge playing field named in memory of outstanding local campaigner

Posted on - 10th December, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Longridge, Ribble Valley Locations, Ribble Valley News
Brian Holden
Brian Holden

A Ribble Valley playing field has been named in memory the ‘outstanding councillor’ who was the driving force behind its £300,000 improvement scheme.

Brian Holden campaigned for the refurbishment of the popular Mardale Playing Fields in Longridge. He represented the Dilworth ward on Ribble Valley Borough Council from 2019 to 2023, and died earlier this year.

A plaque was unveiled at the Mardale site this week renaming it the Brian Holden Memorial Playing Field by Ribble Valley Mayor Mark Hindle in a dedication ceremony attended by councillors and his family and friends.

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The £300,000 scheme, funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and a community levy from housing developers, saw the site’s playing pitches, car park and pavilion refurbished.

The pitches received an extensive drainage system and the car park was extended, resurfaced and re-lined.

The changing rooms were revamped with showers and toilets in each room, separate rooms for match officials and toilets for spectators.

The authority’s leader Cllr Stephen Atkinson said: “Brian was a committed and outstanding councillor, with considerable project management experience at a strategic level.

“There is no doubt that his skill and expertise and tireless campaigning brought the Mardale scheme to fruition.

“The council does not ordinarily rename land or facilities after people living or dead, but Brian’s involvement was so substantial that on this occasion councillors wanted to make an exception.

“We are delighted to have renamed the site in his memory.”

Brian’s wife Jill said: “Brian was aware that the improvement scheme had received approval, but sadly died before construction work started.

“He would be thrilled to see the facility celebrating its next chapter, which will offer a welcoming and inclusive space to the community for years to come. Renaming the playing fields in his honour is a lasting legacy and a very touching tribute to a wonderful man.”

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