Great £100,000 victory for state-of-the-art Garstang sports facility

Garstang Community Aacdemy launched the Pitch In appeal for the new sports pitch
Garstang Community Aacdemy launched the Pitch In appeal for the new sports pitch

Garstang Community Academy will open the gates to the market town’s first state-of-the-art multi-sport, all weather facility next year after Sport England announced this week they would support their community bid for £100,000 of funding.

The cash injection now gives the go-ahead for the building of the £500,000 project to start next spring.

Garstang Hockey Club have also been driving the fundraising with events such as the HockeyFest

Garstang Hockey Club have also been driving the fundraising with events such as the HockeyFest

It is hoped the official opening of the sports pitch, will coincide with the start of the 2018 school term.

The timing will also mark a return to the town for the hockey club after more than 20 years.

Members of the Pitch In appeal committee, a collaboration between the Bowgreave school and Garstang Hockey Club, said they were “delighted” at the success of their second application to the sports body.

Assistant business manager for the academy Tracey Jones, who has helped lead the campaign said the opening would be extra poignant with both the school and club celebrating diamond anniversaries.

Photo courtesy of Notts Sport, preferred surface provider of England Hockey, a view of how the new Garstang sports pitch will look

Photo courtesy of Notts Sport, preferred surface provider of England Hockey, a view of how the new Garstang sports pitch will look

School principal Alisdair Ashcroft said: “I am delighted to tell you that Sport England have confirmed that they will contribute £100,000 towards our new floodlit all weather pitch – this is fantastic news and means we are now in a position to go ahead and start making arrangements to start building work early in the new year

“Many thanks for your unwavering support in this – this will be a very special facility for the school and for the community as a whole.”

The Pitch In committee first launched their appeal in late 2015 and set-up a community funding campaign to help raise £50,000 towards the pitch, which will provide a facility for hockey, rugby, netball and five-a-side football teams.

At the time, the then headteacher Phil Birch described the scheme as an “exciting venture for the whole of Garstang.”

Many of the town’s clubs and junior sections are currently forced to travel out of the area for training purposes. The project will put Garstang on the sporting map, with proposals for the town to become a regional centre of excellence for hockey.

The team are still working on achieving their total target and are currently calling on members of the community to help vote for the project under the Aviva Community Fund, for a chance to receive another £25,000.

Last week the hockey club revealed they had received a £50,000 cash boost.

Plans for the site have been given the green light by Wyre Council.

Tracey Jones, project lead, said: “GCA are overjoyed with the news from Sport England and it is without doubt that the support and belief that has been shown towards this project by many individuals and businesses has played a vital part in securing funding thus far.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped us. The sense of community that has grown with this project is incredible. Everyone deserves access to good sports facilities and GCA is proud to be working with Garstang Hockey Club to install an all -weather pitch for Garstang and its local communities with a plan to ensure long term sustainability.”

And Lyndsey Cookson, a spokeswoman for the hockey club, added: Garstang Hockey Club are absolutely thrilled to hear about the SE bid outcome - this together with the recent 50k awarded from the NHF is testament to 4 yrs of hard work from a dedicated academy and club partnership team.

One more final piece of the jigsaw is now in place allowing the club to return home to its roots next year and to provide a dedicated Hockey centre for girls and boys in Garstang.

The Hockey club will support the continued fundraising efforts over the next few months to get over the finish line.

Please log in to https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-2867 and cast your 10 votes for our project – if we get enough votes, we are in with a very good chance of receiving £25,000 from Aviva’s Community Fund due to the special community nature of this project.

Last day to vote is Monday, November 20.

If you would like to make a personal donation or, if you own a business, would like to make a corporate donation, please get in touch with Tracey Jones, Assistant Business Manager, who is very successfully running this project - TJones@garstangcommunityacademy.com