July 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, June 28, 2014
A £400,000 project to rejuvenate a Suffolk town’s sports field has received backing from district planners.
Framlingham Sports Club got the go-ahead from Suffolk Coastal to construct a new artificial grass pitch and eight-metre floodlights at the site in Badingham Road.
The approval has been welcomed by the club committee, which hopes to now secure the funding necessary for the work to take place.
The club had hoped to start installing the state-of-the-art synthetic pitch in the summer but suffered a setback when Sport England turned down a funding application.
Club president James Cantrell said: “It’s wonderful news but it is obviously only half the battle - the other half is raising the funds.
“The Football Foundation has kindly offered 50% match funding, but that will mean it takes control of the project - and we still need to find about £200,000.
“We have been supported by benefactors like the Mills Charity, and Sport England has allowed us to reapply for £75,000 in September.
“We are still hopeful and have a couple of other irons in the fire. We are looking at changing status from an organisation to a charity, which would solve the problem we face with having to pay VAT.
“Although things have been put back, it’s important we keep fighting.”
The new 60m x 40m floodlit pitch would provide all-weather training facilities for the 23 teams associated with Framlingham Town FC, with junior squads also using it to play competitive matches. Other affiliated organisations, including the running club, archery team and possibly croquet players could make use of the pitch.