A brand new state-of-the-art 3G pitch, built with the aid of an FA and Premier League grant, has been opened at a school in Suffolk.
The project was made possible thanks to a £226,513 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.
The pitch – at Bergholt High School – was officially opened by St. George’s Park chairman and former Ipswich Town chairman, David Sheepshanks.
Speaking at the event, he said: “It was a privilege to officially open this excellent new 3G pitch.
“From my time at Ipswich Town, I know the passion people have for football in this area and this exceptional facility will be hugely beneficial for both pupils at the school and for local grassroots clubs.
“Chairing the national football centre at St George’s Park, I fully understand how important quality playing surfaces are in the development of young players.
“I’d like to congratulate East Bergholt High School, Suffolk FA and local clubs for their hard work in making this project a reality and also the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their generous contribution.”
The new 3G AGP will allow East Bergholt High School to provide pupils and members of the local community with a safe and secure environment to participate in sport all-year round.
The floodlit pitch complements the already excellent sports facilities at the site, which include a sports hall, fitness suite and real grass pitches. Prior to this development there were no 3G pitches within a ten-mile radius.
East Bergholt High School will use the pitch for over 50 hours a week to deliver PE lessons and extra-curricular activity.
It is estimated that 650 pupils and members of local clubs will use the site on a weekly basis.
The pitch will also provide five local grassroots clubs, with year-round access to facilities for training and for small sided matches in the South Suffolk Youth League and the Ipswich & Suffolk Youth League.
Colin Turner, headteacher, East Bergholt High School, added: “The pitch is a fantastic new facility which greatly enhances the sporting provision for students at the school.
“It also provides a first-class floodlit playing surface for local clubs, and will hopefully encourage higher participation rates in games.”