March 17 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 17, 2014
A state-of-the-art synthetic grass sports field could be launched later this year after project leaders reported encouraging progress to meet the scheme’s £400,000 costs.
Framlingham Sports Club confirmed it is “well down the line in getting grants” for its plans to create a 60m x 40m pitch, laid with artificial grass using the latest third generation (3G) technology.
Sid Vice, the club’s vice chairman, said the Football Association and Football Foundation had both supported the project and it was hoped they would provide most of the funding.
“At the moment they are very much working with us and everything seems very encouraging,” he said. “If we don’t get the grants then we won’t be able to do it, but unless we try, nothing will ever happen.”
If approved, the facility would also feature floodlighting to allow greater use for the town’s numerous sporting clubs, including junior and senior running squads, hockey teams, even competitive archers.
The 23 teams associated with Framlingham Town FC would be some of the main benefactors, using the pitch as an all-weather training facility.
Younger squads would also be able to play competitive matches on the artificial surface, though it would be too small for the adult teams.
Mr Vice said he had also invited sporting clubs from further afield to use the pitch and expected it to be a popular resource for the whole region.
Framlingham Town Council agreed to support the project at its latest meeting on Thursday, January 2, despite doubts being raised about its necessity.
Councillor Kevin Coe said he felt a new £400,000 pitch was “not justified” when there was already artificial grass facilities at Thomas Mills High School and Framlingham College.
“I think we should be working together more as a town and sharing facilities,” he said.
Mr Vice later explained that the other surfaces were not suitable for football in the way the high quality 3G synthetic grass was.
“What we are talking about is a completely different surface – it’s going to make such a difference,” he said.