Work to revamp facilities at Cantley Park in Wokingham is well underway thanks to significant investment by Wokingham Borough Council.
Set to come to the park is a brand new state-of-the-art 3G artificial pitch with floodlights, a refurbished pavilion and improvements to parking (phase one). Phase two will see improvements to the current grass pitches being made.
Refurbishment work on the pavilion started earlier this month by contractors Morris & Blunt Ltd, a local firm who specialise in both the public and private building sectors, including new build, extension, and refurbishment construction work. Internal walls are currently being removed in the pavilion so the layout can be formed to create new changing facilities, a viewing balcony and café.
New 3G pitch
The council has appointed Tiger Turf, a leading manufacturer of synthetic turf in the UK, and they are working with McArdle Sport Tec, a leading sports surface construction company, specialising in the installation of synthetic turf to construct the new 3G pitch.
Additionally work on the 3G pitch has now started. Heras fencing has been placed around the area for the new pitch and contractors will start to strip the pitch this week. They will also be forming the bank for the new parking bays. Access to the pitches adjacent to the houses will shortly be closed for safety reasons and signage will be displayed to let park users know.
An additional 39 parking spaces will also be created, bringing the total to 164, including 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 will also be installed. The artificial sand-dressed pitch and 12 tennis courts will be unaffected by these works.
Last year the borough council successfully bid for a £616,619 grant from the Premier League, The FA, and the government’s Football Foundation. The council is investing £1.6million into the project and it will bring 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.
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 would be the fifth 3G pitch built in the borough.
This investment at Cantley Park will allow local footballers to play football each week at improved facilities. It will also mean they no longer have to travel outside the borough for matches or training, which is crucial if we want to tackle the climate emergency.
“I am delighted work has started this month on the improvements at Cantley Park,” Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure. “While this investment in Cantley is great news for our footballing community, it also brings a lot of benefits to the wider community. The park is so well-loved by many who not only come to play sports, such as cricket, hockey, archery and tennis as well as football, but also to walk their dogs and take part in their daily exercise.
“The new 3G pitch is a great addition to our fantastic sporting facilities on offer in the borough and is another great example of the council investing in our communities to improve people’s health and wellbeing.