Date published: 20/09/2012
Local people in Lancashire are celebrating following the formal opening of a new £1.2m facility including a pavilion, changing rooms and education facilities by Blackpool legend and former England captain, Jimmy Armfield.
The prestigious development officially opened last week and includes a brand-new sports pavilion with changing rooms, education facilities and a car park. Land on three levels has been drained, and playing surfaces have been upgraded to accommodate six football pitches of varying sizes.
Heys Playing Field will now provide state-of-the-art facilities for local people and aspiring footballers from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, Hippings Methodist Primary, and Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FC.
The £1.2m development has been funded by:
£571,590 from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government
£400,000 from Lancashire County Council
£75,000 from Hyndburn Borough Council
£150,000 from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, Hippings Methodist Primary and St Mary's FC.
The playing fields have also received strong backing from the Lancashire FA.
Both schools will benefit enormously from a much-needed sports facility, and Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FC, which is a charter-standard development club, will fulfil a long-held ambition to have their own base.
Clive Yates, vice-chairman of Oswaldtwistle St Mary’s FC, added: “This gives us a fantastic opportunity to develop our club further and the chance to achieve Charter Standard Community Club status in the near future. This site has been crying out for development for many years, and we are absolutely thrilled that five years of hard work has come to fruition.”
Paul Trickett, Headmaster of Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, said: “It is great to see this project come to fruition after several years of hard work from the school and the football club working in collaboration.
“We are grateful to the Football Foundation for their help and assistance in putting together all aspects of the bid and for their extremely generous contribution towards the footballing future of the school, the club and future generations of Oswaldtwistle young people.”
Mike Hart, Lancashire County Council's Director with responsibility for resources, said: “This development will provide a top-class sporting facility for the school children and wider community of Oswaldtwistle and Hyndburn, and we are proud to support the scheme with £400,000 of funding as well as with our project management and design services.
“A considerable amount of effort and commitment from everyone involved has brought in significant financial investment and we're grateful to all our funding partners for helping us deliver such a fantastic scheme.”
Janice Lewer, Headteacher of Hippings Methodist Primary School, said: “This is a very exciting time and we are pleased this area is being developed as it will be a valuable resource for the whole community.”
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