A brand new state-of-the-art 3G pitch with floodlights was officially opened by Wokingham Borough Council at Cantley Park in Wokingham on 1 September.
The new 3G Pitch was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.
After netting a £616,619 amount grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in January 2021. The borough council has invested more than £1.6million to enhance residents’ facilities at Cantley Park, bringing significant benefits to the park’s large number of users including those who use the park for sport and relaxation as well as individuals and families.
As well as the brand new 3G artificial pitch with floodlights, the existing pavilion refurbished to provide new changing facilities, a viewing balcony and café. The café is set to open on Friday 3 September.
Wokingham Borough Council worked in partnership with the Berks and Bucks FA to secure the Football Foundation funding.
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “The new 3G pitch, floodlights and pavilion are a fantastic addition to our leisure facilities in the borough, which will not only benefit the many football teams locally but many residents too.
“Tackling climate change is a key priority for this council. And the new 3G pitch will help us in our drive to reduce carbon emissions by offering local sporting facilities that our residents need and want. We are helping to reduce the number of teams travelling outside the Borough to play football. We are very grateful to receive the grant from the Football Foundation, which has allowed us to invest locally in high quality football facilities and support the grassroots sport.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “We are delighted that the new facilities at Cantley Park are now open to the public after receiving Football Foundation investment.
“Good quality facilities support the health of local people and communities, which is why we’re investing in projects like this across the country with funding provided by the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”
An additional 39 parking spaces, bringing the total to 164, have also been provided and include four larger spaces to accommodate minibuses. This will help alleviate parking issues on the site and in neighbouring residential areas. Four electric vehicle charging points have also been installed.
In recent years, Wokingham has seen a rise in the number of football teams and there are currently some 534 active teams across the borough. Growing demand and participation means more training facilities are required locally.
To meet this demand an additional nine 3G pitches are needed for those local teams still travelling outside of the borough to use football pitches and winter training facilities. Cantley Park is the seventh 3G pitch built in the borough.
Further enhancements are also planned at Cantley Park. Work on the new play area has also started. Funded by a £450,000 developer contribution, the new play area will replace the existing equipment near to the tennis courts. The new play area has been designed to appeal to a wide age range, including teenagers and young children, plus it will be inclusive with wheelchair accessible equipment.
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