Disappointed Sport England and FA confirm £1 million funding withdrawal for Peterborough football pitch

The former Brookside playing fields

The former Brookside playing fields

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Sport England and the Football Foundation have confirmed they are withdrawing funding from the proposed £1 million project to create an all-weather pitch and new facilities at the former Brookside playing fields in Werrington.

Both bodies believe that restricted times to use the proposed floodlit facility are not sufficient or financially viable.

This follows a decision by Peterborough City Council’s Planning And Environmental Protection Committee to only allow the 3G pitch to be used until 9am to 7.30pm on weekdays and 10am to 7pm at weekends.

Sport England and the Football Foundation - funded through the Football Association - made a second plea over a fortnight ago to councillors to extend the hours of use until 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 10 to 7.30pm on weekdays but this was unanimously rejected.

The decision to reject longer hours was made due to consideration of the amenities of local residents who had expressed concerns over noise and lighting, among other issues.

The application for the pitch and refurbished pavilion was made by Voyager Academy which had hoped to use it alongside two local football teams and other community groups.

Principal of the academy, Scott Hudson, said: “We are disappointed to hear that funding has been withdrawn by Sport England and the Football Foundation.

“The proposed facilities would have been a fantastic resource for the community, local football clubs, and our students.”

Project partners Huntingdonshire FA and Northamptonshire FA have also expressed their disappointment at the decision not to allow the pitch to be used later into the evening.

Dean Watson, county development manager from the Huntingdonshire FA, said: We are saddened by this outcome, especially in the knowledge that Peterborough City Council, Sport England and The FA have all identified that the north of Peterborough is extremely under resourced with regards to football facilities compared to the rest of the city.

“We have a very good history of working with Peterborough City Council to develop well run community facilities that benefit all Peterborough communities.

“The next step is to try and identify with all partners an area in the north of Peterborough where a similar facility can be built to develop, sustain and grow grassroots football in the city.”

Ian Tinto, head of football development, Northamptonshire FA, said: “Given our good record of installing high quality facilities in local communities, and the mitigating steps and flexibility we had shown, we are disappointed that no acceptable resolution could be secured for both parties.

“We will continue to work to provide high quality football facilities for the teams and communities of Peterborough, and will continue to endeavour to deliver the state of the art facilities that would have been provided to this community.”

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