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New 3G pitch will be top of the league

A new 3G football pitch will be top of the league the Council has confirmed.

At a meeting of Castle Point Borough Council Cabinet on 19 July, councillors agreed to invest an extra £97,000 in replacing the all-weather pitch at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre.

The decision will ensure the pitch meets the Football Association’s (FA’s) highest standard and will increase the number of FA compliant small pitches at Waterside Recreation Ground to four. That is alongside the existing full size 11-a-side pitch.

Cllr Dave Blackwell, Leader of the Council, said: “We know there is a lack of artificial football pitches within the Borough.

“The upgrading of the pitch at Waterside to FA standard helps address the demands from local football teams for more spaces to play which meet regulations. It means more teams have access to more facilities at one time.”

The total cost of the new pitch at Waterside is expected to be £438,000. Owing to inflation and changes to regulations, this is more than the £341,000 the Council had set aside. Cabinet took the decision to fund the difference from Council reserves.

In accordance with FA guidance, the refurbished facility will have a new small standing spectator zone and additional storage will be installed on site. The existing light columns will also be upgraded to energy efficient LED technology.

The Council is looking to complete work to replace the pitch by April 2024 and will try to minimise disruption to the forthcoming football season.