£100k boost for grassroots sport

Two sporting organisations have won £50,000 each from Sport England to build and improve playing fields.

Brassington residents who have been without a field for three decades could see one built within two years after the charity working on the project secured a Protecting Playing Fields grant.

And Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club have also received a grant to be spent on extending and improving its Wirksworth ground.

Andrew Mason, of Brassington Recreation Ground Charitable Association, said his village now has £83,000 to spend on a sports field, with the other contributions coming from Acclaim Housing and Exton Trust.

A patch of level ground has been acquired for the project next to the village green, and planning permission has been granted.

“It’s taken us a year to get to the stage where we have done with funding, and now we can really kick-start the project,” Mr Mason said.

“The field we are developing was used about 30 years ago for this type of activity. It went into disrepair, and the village has wanted to get it back.

“We’ve literally mowed the grass so we can mark the pitch out. Works will start in spring, once the first bit of dry weather comes.”

Initial plans are to drain the field and level off a basic pitch, with the aim of adding a multi-use court in future.

Mr Mason hopes the fields will be ready for play in Spring 2013, and will be used by schools, the local football club and an all-ages rounders competition.

“We are hoping to create that sort of environment,” he said.

Meanwhile Sue Marshall from Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket said the club was still in discussions as to how the money would be used, but it would be for general improvements to cater for an expected rise in users.

Work is not likely to start until the end of next season.

Sport England is now inviting communities to apply for the second round of the £10 million Protecting Playing Fields fund.

The fund aims to create new playing fields, improve existing ones, and bring abandoned ones back into use.

It is part of Sport England’s attempt to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.