FOOTBALL fever has broken out after a new £1.4million 3G pitch and pavilion at Evesham United was officially opened.
Wychavon Chairman Coun Robert Raphael was joined by Evesham MP and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston to cut the ribbon.
The state-of-the-art pitch is the first full sized, floodlit, artificial grass pitch in the district built to FA and FIFA standards. There is also a new pavilion which includes two 16 bench changing rooms, separate changing rooms for match officials, a kitchen, reception and social room.
The Vale of Evesham 3G Pitch and Pavilion has been funded with the help of a £576,000 grant from The Football Foundation as well as money linked to planning agreements known as Section 106 money.
The new facility will allow for training to take place throughout the year in all weathers and support the club’s ambitions to expand the number of teams and players of all ages getting involved in football.
Coun Raphael, said: “It’s been our ambition to have a such a superb football facility and sporting hub in the area for some time and I’m delighted it’s become a reality. We know how important it is to help people stay active and we believe this facility will have a positive impact on the local community.”
Dean Speake, secretary of Evesham United FC, said: “This facility allows us to run 12 months of the year and will aid our development. We’ve already got 2-year-olds involved on a Sunday morning and then we have walking football, with the oldest person taking part being 74, and it’s our intention to do more and involve more areas of the community with this great facility.”
Nigel Huddleston, Mid Worcestershire MP, said: “Thank you to everybody who has been involved in making this happen. It’s important we have these facilities as getting people, especially young children, active is really important for their physical health but also their mental health as well so it’s great to see it’s being used and will benefit the whole community.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “We are delighted that this amazing new facility is now open to the public after receiving Football Foundation investment.
“Good quality facilities support the health of local people and communities, which is why we’re investing in projects like this across the country with funding provided by the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”