Important local sports facility to be developed into versatile local community resource
East Devon District Council has been awarded a £100,000 Sport England Inspired Facilities grant to help replace the synthetic sports pitch, owned by East Devon, at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary. East Devon hopes to receive further funding to reconfigure fencing and storage, making the pitch more versatile for existing and new clubs and customers.
The current pitch, which was originally installed in 1987, is used at capacity for hockey and football by The King’s School, local primary schools, community sports clubs and by operators LED Leisure Management Ltd (LED) for courses and holiday programmes.
The council, King’s School and LED, have already made available funding of £165,000 to replace the pitch surface to meet the needs of a growing population in the local area.
However, consultation with the Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club, The King’s School and the East Devon School Sport Partnership, identified improvements to floodlighting, fencing and equipment as additional features, which would enable the facility programme to be developed for existing and new user groups - including junior versions of hockey and walking football for older players.
The total project cost will be just over £300,000 and it is anticipated that work will take place in April 2017.
The resurfacing of the Ottery St Mary synthetic pitch was a key action plan arising from the council’s Playing Pitch Strategy, which was adopted in June 2015. The granting of this funding towards the project by Sport England highlights the importance of the pitch to both the local community and The Kings School. It also demonstrates the robustness of the Playing Pitch Strategy in providing a solid evidence base when seeking investment in sports projects.
A spokesperson for LED said:
We are very excited here at Ottery Leisure Centre, this development will enhance the offering available to the local community.
A spokesperson from The King’s School, Ottery St Mary, said:
The King’s school is delighted with the successful award of the grant. The successful bid will allow our students and local community users to access outstanding sporting facilities for many more years into the future.