Turf Broken for State of the Art 3G pitch
Partners collaborate in new community 3G pitch at John O’Gaunt School
Turf has been broken to kick-start the building of an exciting new investment into local football facilities at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford. School children, Hungerford Town Football Club and the wider West Berkshire community are set to benefit, thanks to some truly inspired community effort. Richard Hawthorne, Principal of John O’Gaunt School, described the project as “a real triumph of collaboration, heart, energy and investment in the present and future of our wonderful, wider, rural community.”
The new pitch will become a key training venue for Hungerford Football Club and many other users, after being identified by the Football Foundation and the Berks and Bucks Football Association as having great ‘community potential.’ The brand new, full-size, £804,000 3G pitch came about through a £539,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation. With West Berkshire Council adding £75,000, match funded by The Greenham Trust, Excalibur Academies Trust contributing £70,000, Hungerford Town Council contributing £10,000 and Hungerford Town’s Football Club £6,350, the project reached its goal to become a reality.
Richard Hawthorne went on to say “First class facilities such as these will mean so much to the young people in the area, but also to their families and neighbours in the town, its satellite villages and environment. It’s a truly dynamic project which will be an important hub of vitality and aspiration, and we believe the influence and connectivity will be far-reaching. Sport brings us together in shared spirit, effort and celebration. It means a very great deal that this will be at the heart of our community, to which we are so privileged and proud to belong.”
Janine Lewis, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure, Sport and Countryside, said: “Keeping people active, fit and healthy is a key priority for the council and we’re grateful for the collaboration and support of our partners. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to secure the funding needed to replace the existing facility and install such a top-quality pitch as part of the Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy.”
Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Trust, who match-funded £75,000 is “delighted to support this community project, which will bring a state-of-the-art facility to Hungerford to promote and develop football throughout the local community for years to come. The new pitch will enable more people to have access to the facility in all weathers and reduce the need for teams to travel further afield for training purposes.”
Corinne Breingan, Head of Communications at Excalibur Academies Trust said “Collaboratively, to invest such a sizeable amount to this project sends a huge value message to all who will use and respect it. We look forward to seeing the pitch in action in October, perfectly timed for the football season and academic year ahead.”