£50k boost for sports pitch in Peak village

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A project to transform a High Peak field into a football pitch has been given a major boost by Sport England.

Furness Vale Community Organising Green Spaces (COGS) has been awarded £50,000 in the latest round of playing fields funding.

Sandy Schofield from Furness Vale COGS, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money from Sport England which will help to improve the boggy and uneven field in our village.

“This is the first vital stage in the plans which the local community have for this greatly valued open space.

“It will provide much needed new sporting and recreational opportunities for everyone.”

COGS was formed when a group of local residents got together to raise money to improve a field off Yeardsley Lane in Furness Vale, which is on a slope and has poor drainage.

The plan is to level and drain the field, and create a football pitch, multi-use games area and possibly a skate park and picnic area.

The current state of the field is so bad that the site cannot be used for most of the year and Furness Vale Football Club are forced to pay to use other facilities.

The funding boost for Furness Vale COGS comes as even more local sports fields across the country are to be safeguarded and improved after Sport England announced a 50 per cent boost to the Protecting Playing Fields Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund.

The £5 million increase, made possible by strong sales of National Lottery tickets, is in response to huge demand for the programme from sports clubs and other local groups.

Sport England Chair, Nick Bitel, said: “The popularity of this legacy fund shows just how important good local playing fields are to grassroots sport.

“But Sport England’s support for playing fields is about much more than money; every day our experts play a vital role in protecting sports provision through the planning system.”

The next round of funding will open on Monday June 10. To find out more visit www.sportengland.org.