FOOTBALL grounds in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have been chosen for upgrades as part of a new pilot initiative.
The Premier League, the FA and the Government’s Football Foundation have announced that the BCP Council is among a number of local authorities selected under its new grass pitch pilot scheme.
The pilot initiative aims to support the improvement of grass pitches throughout the conurbation over the next ten years.
The council was selected following a successful expression of interest process in partnership with the Dorset County Football Association, which involved testing soil samples on 57 grass pitches across 15 venues.
After submitting the report data, the council will hear towards the end of July the amount of funding that will be allocated to its grounds maintenance and renovation program as well as equipping all grounds in the BCP areas. .
The Football Foundation will work with the council and other local partners to design a delivery plan and explore funding opportunities to improve heavily used pitches.
Councilor Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for tourism and active health, said: “This has been a great project to be involved in with a clear vision for future improvements to the pitch, and which feeds into our playground strategy.
“Encouraging everyone to lead an active lifestyle is part of our grand plan and we have thousands of residents playing on our grounds, rain or shine, so it’s important that we continue to nurture them. and improve them for the use of all.”
Kath Purnell, facilities and investment manager for the Dorset County Football Association, said: “We are really delighted to be working with the BCP Council on the LA Grass Pitch programme.
“This fantastic initiative will improve the quality of grass pitches across the local authority area, ensuring that grassroots clubs and players have quality grass pitches on which to train and play matches, ensuring the sustainability and future growth of football and a better user experience”.
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sporting charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for all, by championing fair access to quality facilities.