New sports facilities at a school in Kidsgrove are benefitting local clubs, groups and residents as well as pupils thanks to funding from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to boost people’s health and well-being.
The Council has earmarked £150,000 from its capital programme – in addition to £225,000 from Kidsgrove’s advanced Town Deal awarded by the Government – enabling The King’s CE Academy to realise plans to provide functional outdoor PE space at their First Avenue site with the opening of a modern, all weather 3G football pitch and MUGA (multi-use games area) for netball and tennis.
As well as being used by students throughout the school day, a community use agreement brokered by the Council means that the 3G pitch and MUGA are available for public hire in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays – in full or half size options.
The new facilities form part of a “sports village” concept – developed by the Council with input from the Kidsgrove Town Deal Board – linking them with complementary, high quality leisure facilities at the adjacent sports centre and nearby Clough Hall Park which are also receiving significant contributions from the Town Deal to improve health outcomes, boost jobs and grow local economies.
Term-time bookings can be made from 5pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays, with prices starting from £25 per hour for the 3G pitch and £5.50 for the MUGA. For more information, please visit www.thekings.schoolhire.co.uk
Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “The Council is delighted to provide funding, both directly and through Kidsgrove’s advanced Town Deal, to ensure the successful delivery of sports facilities for both the school and the wider community. One of our priorities is to ensure that everyone has access to a wide range of activities to help improve their health and quality of life. The school has experienced long-term issues with finding suitable outdoor space for PE lessons, and their existing astro turf pitch was also condemned, while access to leisure opportunities for residents has been very poor in recent years.
“The completion of the 3G pitch and MUGA, on time and within budget, is the latest good news story to come from the Town Deal programme in Kidsgrove. They’re already making a positive difference, not only for schoolchildren as barriers to their participation in regular physical activity have been removed, but also the community who are making regular bookings for things like club football training for players of all ages and a kick around with friends from the pub. There are so many possibilities. It’s a win-win situation.
“Developing sports provision is a really important part of the town’s development. The new facilities – combined with the Council’s current refurbishment of Kidsgrove sports centre and upgrades at Clough Hall Park – will create a much-needed health hub in the north of the borough. And let’s not forget our fabulous new pump track at Newchapel recreation ground which is hailed the best in the country.
“Now that the advanced Town Deal funding has been directed into such worthwhile initiatives, I’m looking forward to progressing the larger, even more ambitious ones. This is an exciting time for Kidsgrove.”
Will Wilson, Principal of The King’s CE Academy, added: “The 3G pitch and MUGA are amazing additions to the school. They have radically transformed physical education lessons and opened up a wealth of extra curricular, enrichment opportunities for young people in our town. We’re extremely grateful to the Council and the Town Deal Board for their support in enabling us to make our dream of offering a first-class sports provision a reality. The new facilities are a great source of enjoyment and pleasure for all those who use them, including the wider community.
“This development is a significant step forward in creating a sports village that will promote and protect the health and well-being of residents in Kidsgrove now and going forwards.”
In March Kidsgrove was awarded a further £16.9 million from the Government’s Town Deals Fund for a range of major projects – identified by the Town Deal Board – to make the town a more desirable place to work, live, visit and invest. More information is available here: https://bit.ly/3jSUeQX
Dan Gray, Chair of the Kidsgrove Town Deal Board and Executive Director of Property at Aspire Housing, commented: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Town Deal funding is already having in Kidsgrove with the launch of the new facilities as part of the sports village. We’re pleased that it’s been available for the start of the new school term and King’s CE Academy pupils and local residents are undoubtedly excited to put them to good use. We are now looking forward to delivering a series of ambitious projects that will benefit residents of Kidsgrove using the £16.9m of funding allocated to the Town Deal by Government.”