The transformation of Daventry Sports Park is underway as work begins on installing a new 3G pitch and refurbishing its changing facilities.
The £695,000 upgrade for the Browns Road facility has been developed by Everyone Active and Daventry District Council (DDC) in partnership with the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF), which is funding 65 per cent of the total project cost.
The new 3G pitch will replace the existing sand-dressed artificial turf, improving playability in all weathers and making it more suitable for playing FA league games.
One side of the changing block will be refurbished to provide accessible changing facilities and a classroom, and the reception area will also receive a complete upgrade.
The work is due to be completed in mid-December.
Councillor Alan Hills, DDC's community culture and leisure portfolio holder, said: “Daventry Sports Park is very popular, but it is in need of improvement, so this scheme is badly needed. Not only will it improve facilities for existing players, but the grassroots development programme will increase participation in football across all ages.
“Grants the size of that offered by Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund don’t come around very often so I’m very pleased we have grasped it with both hands. This will be a wonderful new facility for Daventry District and I look forward to its completion.”
A grassroots football development programme will also be implemented as part of the project, which it is hoped will result in a substantial increase in participation in football, particularly among women, young people and those with disabilities.
The sports park is managed by DDC’s leisure partner Everyone Active.
Mel Bland, who prepared the funding bid on behalf of Everyone Active, said: “Better football facilities are crucial to help strengthen the sport at the grassroots and that is exactly why Daventry District Council and Everyone Active are backing this project with funding.
“This facility will be a big boost to community football in Daventry, with the all-weather pitch perfect for year-round use, as well as for developing talent and coaching young people in the District.
“We want to get more people involved in sport for the positive impact it has on people’s lives and partnerships such as this one, bringing together all authorities, can help achieve that.”