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Pitch perfect: work begins on £750,000 Killingworth sports pitch
Construction work has started to provide a £750,000 artificial sports pitch in Killingworth.
The development of the full-size floodlit 3G pitch at Amberley Playing Fields is being made possible by a £500,000 grant from the Premier League, the FA, and the Government through its charity the Football Foundation.
North Tyneside Council has also invested £215,000, with the balance coming from Killingworth Young People’s Club (KYPC) who will manage the facility on behalf of the community.
This will enable the council to provide a first-class playing surface, supporting grassroots football as well as a host of other sports and community activities.
Councillor Sarah Day, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, attended a turf-cutting ceremony to mark the start of the project.
She paid tribute to Killingworth Young People’s Club for their drive and determination in helping to get the project off the ground.
She said: “The new pitch will become a landmark facility for North Tyneside – a modern venue which opens up new opportunities for local people to get involved in sport and maintain a fit and active lifestyle.
“The project aligns with many of our key priorities for the borough, such as keeping people healthy and making physical improvements, as well as being part of our regeneration plan for Killingworth.
“I’d like to thank KYPC’s management and players for their commitment to helping to make the project possible, as well as the Football Foundation and our construction partners SIS for their support. I can’t wait to see the pitch being used.”
KYPC’s former chairman, Neil Drummond, manages the project on behalf of the club committee. He said: “It was a vision that the club had years ago when games were being cancelled because of poor weather. Most of us live in Killingworth and we want our kids to have somewhere they can go to play sports all year around within walking distance to keep the kids active.
“We initiated the application in the first instance but none of it would have been possible without the support we have received from the Football Foundation and North Tyneside Council.”
It is envisaged that the facility will be used to host mini soccer leagues and an over 35s league featuring teams from across North Tyneside.
The Northumberland FA and Newcastle United Foundation will also have access to the facility and there will be an emphasis on working to develop girls’ and disability football.
The pitch will also be available for use by local school and for general hire by the local community.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The news that works have officially begun on brand new facility will undoubtedly provide a boost for grassroots sport in the Killingworth area. Funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, is playing a vital role in making the project a reality.
“These facilities not only act as excellent physical and social outlets for communities, but also provide new jobs – during construction and in the years to come - with people needed to support sites in delivering safe and positive environments for any user.”
The project is due for completion in autumn 2019.