Work on a brand-new floodlit 3G pitch at Redcar and Cleveland College is underway, and it is the result of a real team effort.
The all-weather football pitch at the heart of the town will be a welcome boost to grassroots sport in the area.
The new facility is the result of a collaboration between the college, The Football Foundation, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, and the Sir William Turner Foundation, with support from Redcar Town and Redcar Athletic football clubs.
College Principal, Jason Faulkner, said: “Our goal is to bring a fantastic new facility to Redcar that will benefit our students and young people, and be an asset to the wider community with the potential to increase wider sports participation.”
Working closely with its community sports clubs and the local authority, Jason said: “We identified a clear need for another pitch in the borough as local clubs are very dispersed, particularly in the winter months, as they travel out of the immediate area to find suitable playing facilities.”
The development, which will see the construction of a brand-new 106m by 70m floodlit turf, complete with standing area, is being made possible thanks to a £467,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, along with funding from the college, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and the Sir William Turner Foundation.
The college worked in partnership with the County FA to secure the Football Foundation grant, a charity that champions fair access to quality football facilities for everyone.
Redcar Town Football Club’s Committee Member, Ross Sibley, said: “Access to a purpose built 3G Astroturf football ground, being constructed on our doorstep, is fantastic. This complex will help complement the facilities we already provide at the club.
“As a North Riding County FA Charter Standard CASC’s registered club, our volunteers strive to provide the very best possible environment to encourage youngsters to actively engage in grass roots football and other physical activity. This is a further opportunity to improve their football experience.”
Redcar Athletic FC’s Kevin Fryett added: “Off the pitch, Redcar Athletic has made massive strides this year with the acquisition of a new clubhouse, spectator facilities and club shop.
“Now knowing that we will soon have access to a brand-new all-weather pitch in the town, will come as a welcome boost to all those who enjoy the sport and hopefully encourage even more people to get involved in and enjoy grassroots football.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is great news for Redcar and Cleveland that Redcar and Cleveland College has started work on the new floodlit artificial pitch.
“This is the latest example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England, improving grass roots facilities across the country. This funding is enabling more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.”
The Sir William Turner Foundation has been supporting education in Redcar for hundreds of years, funding projects that will enhance students’ experience in the area. Chairman, Peter Sotheran MBE, said: “The Sir William Turner Foundation has partnered with Redcar and Cleveland College for almost 30 years and is delighted to be involved as a major funding partner with this latest development of the college’s facilities. An all-weather artificial turf pitch will open up all sorts of new activities.”
Praising the team effort Councillor Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This pitch will be a real asset to our community. It has come about because so many people have worked together, including our football clubs, the college, The Football Foundation, the Sir William Turner Foundation and ourselves. It shows that good things can happen when we all pull together. This facility will help improve fitness and enjoyment for many people for a long time to come, and I would like to thank everyone involved.”