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Funding confirmed for Berwick’s first 3G football pitch 

Berwick is to get its first ever artificial grass pitch which will provide high quality football facilities for young people and adults in the town right throughout the year.
This week,  Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland received word that its bid for £400,000 funding had been successful.
The money  will come from the Premier League,  The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.  
The County Council is making up the £400,000 balance of the costs as part of its wider investment in leisure in the town.
The new pitch will be situated on the current  leisure centre site and will be suitable for full size football matches but with the flexibility to reconfigure it for training purposes or seven-a-side matches. 
Its durable, all weather surface will provide opportunities for year round training and match play.  Outdoor football changing facilities will be incorporated into the new Berwick Sports Centre and floodlighting will be available to permit play on dark winter evenings.
Work is expected to start on the new pitch in Spring and it is hoped it will be completed by Autumn, after which it will be managed by Active Northumberland.
Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:
“The pitch will bring huge benefits to schoolchildren, local sports clubs and community groups and is part of this council's drive to make sure top class sporting and leisure facilities are available in Berwick.  We are very grateful to the Premier League, The FA and the Government through the Football Foundation for their grant and support of grassroots sport.”
Leader of Northumberland County Council Peter Jackson said:
“ It was clear from talking to local football clubs that a new all weather pitch was a real priority for the town. At the moment teams are travelling down to Alnwick or across the border to play on all weather pitches and that isn’t right. Working with local football clubs and partners, the council submitted the funding bid last Autumn and we are delighted that this money has now been approved. We will be pushing ahead on its development so come next winter Berwick footballers will have somewhere local to train and to play.”
Joanne Farrier, Head of Commercial and Resources at Active Northumberland:
“ This 3G pitch will be a fantastic addition to the new leisure facilities that are currently being developed in the town and will provide a great opportunity for schools and clubs to be active and play sport right throughout the year. Football makes a huge difference to the players, coaches and community. We see first-hand the impact on players’ confidence, physical health and mental focus.  This grant will help us to improve grassroots sport in the area and get even more people involved in this popular team sport. ”
The 3G pitch  forms part of a wider £20million county council investment in sport and leisure for Berwick. Work has now commenced on the building of a state of the art new sports centre which will incorporate a five-lane, 25 m swimming pool, a teaching pool and leisure pool and spa facilities. There will also be a sports hall, indoor bowls, fitness studios, cafe and a sensory room.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:
“ We’re dedicated to improving grassroots football facilities because we want to encourage more people to get involved in our nation’s favourite game, regardless of their background, age or ability or place. That’s why I’m delighted that this funding will support Berwick in developing community football. ”
“ Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country. We believe in the power of pitches to transform lives and strengthen communities and so we’ll be investing £1bn across the country over the next 10 years.”

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