New grants put sports facility on 2017 target

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Funding has been awarded for a new state-of-the-art artificial grass sports pitch at Sherburn High School.

Plans were pass by for the full size pitch, with partnership funding approved from Sherburn Parish and Selby District councils and now the Football Foundation has confirmed it will award £245,831 and Sport England £100,000 towards the £603,831 costs.

Bob Packham, Parish, District and County Councillor, said: “This has been a real team effort, initially instigated by a project group with members from the school, local residents and the Parish Council, but we have also been delighted by the support of the District Council.  

“I would particularly like to mention the guidance we have received from Gary Limbert, and his work to secure the Sports Council funding.”

The project is being developed in partnership with the High School, Sherburn Parish Council, Selby District Council and Sherburn White Rose Football Club, and is scheduled to be open for use in the summer.

Full consultation for this project and other sporting benefits for wider community use of the school site were undertaken in 2013, which was funded by the Big Lottery Awards for All programme.

The new artificial grass sports pitch will be used by the school during the day and open to the wider community during evenings and weekends.

And the facility will be available to the residents of Sherburn-In-Elmet and the surrounding villages for a range of multi sports including football, rugby training and hockey.

Sherburn White Rose Football Club will be the key football community club user with other partners including the Leeds United Foundation and West Riding County FA.

Club spokesman Gary Limbert said that the new floodlit artificial grass pitch had taken three years to come to fruition and will be a fantastic sporting facility for the School, Sherburn White Rose FC and other community sports clubs.

“It will take a lot of pressure away from the currently over used grass pitches at the White Rose Sports Club facility at Finkle Hill, offering a fantastic training and match play pitch,” he said.

Sherburn High Headteacher Maria Williams said this was a very exciting opportunity, not only for the school but also the wider community.

She stated that sports training and fixtures would no longer need to be cancelled due to poor weather and wet pitches.

Ensuring that all students have healthy lifestyles and participate in sport is a key driver for the school and the proposed pitch will certainly help to realise this ambition.

Coun Jan Marshall representing Saxton cum Scarthingwell Parish Council said: “This is very welcome news. It will allow both children and adults in the surrounding villages to have access to first class sports facilities.

“As rural residents we often miss out on such facilities so it is wonderful to have them on our doorstep. We look forward to using them.”

Any clubs interested in hiring the new facility should contact John Wagstaff at Sherburn High School.