A new £450,000 artificial '3G' pitch, which is set to transform sports provision at Sevenoaks Town Football Club, has been completed, thanks in part to a £75,000 grant from Cory Environmental Trust in Britain (CETB). The new facilities will help meet demand for local football training facilities, of which there is a real shortage.
Established in 1883, Sevenoaks Town Football Club provides training facilities for 59 teams, including junior teams for boys and girls between the ages of seven and 18, as well as the senior squad, veterans and powerchair teams.
The new state-of-the-art all-weather 3G pitch is available throughout the year, which has enabled the club to extend and improve its training sessions for all teams. The project includes the installation of low light pollution floodlights to enable training at night-time and during the winter months.
To share the benefits of the new pitch, the club is offering all the local primary schools a free two-hour slot every week to ensure school children have adequate opportunity to take part in sports outdoors. A similar offer will be made to other local community groups that do not have access to all-weather facilities. The facilities will also be used to run community holiday football camps.
In addition to the £75,000 grant from CETB, Sevenoaks Town Council has contributed £200,000 towards the project, with the remainder raised by Sevenoaks Town Football Club.
Paul Lansdale, Chair of Sevenoaks Town FC, said: "We are very grateful to CETB for its generous support for the project. The club was previously forced to hire local facilities at a cost of around £50,000 per year; however, we will now have sufficient capacity to provide adequate training for all of our teams within our own grounds.
"The new pitch will have many benefits, not only in terms of providing top quality facilities for our teams, but also in helping the improve levels of health and wellbeing in the wider community as the popularity of the facility increases."
Angela Haymonds, CETB Trust Secretary, said: "The Trustees were very pleased to have the chance to get involved with supporting this project. The new 3G pitch is a fantastic facility which will bring many benefits to the club, its teams and the wider community."
CETB funding is available for a wide range of projects that bring benefit to local communities. This may include refurbishment of churches or buildings of architectural or historical significance, or general amenity projects, such as improving disabled access or improvements to parks and nature reserves.
Sevenoaks Town Football Club is less than half a mile from Cory Environmental's Greatness Landfill site near Sevenoaks.