30 May 2024

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Ormskirk School has secured funding for a new all-weather pitch to meet the growing recreational and sports needs of the local community.

The school has been awarded £123,539.50 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Levelling Up funding.

This grant will be used to redevelop the school's existing sand-based artificial playing pitch, which currently has limited community usage and is unusable during poor weather, into a Football Association standard 3G artificial grass pitch.

A 3G pitch is a synthetic surface that mimics natural grass in bounce, impact, and performance. Unlike traditional astroturf, it reduces friction burns and injuries, making it safer for players.

The total estimated cost of the project is £247,000, with Endeavour Learning Trust committing to match funding the project. This redevelopment will address local demand for high-quality sports facilities as highlighted in the West Lancashire Playing Pitch Strategy. Once open, the new pitch will be available for use by local sports clubs, organisations and other local schools.

The new 3G artificial grass pitch will provide significant benefits to the wider local community, including:

  • High-Quality Community Facility: Meeting the substantial demand in Ormskirk and wider West Lancashire.
  • Home Venue for Local Clubs: Offering a dedicated training and match venue for partner clubs associated with this project.
  • Increased Sports Participation: Expanding opportunities for community members to engage in football and various other sports.
  • Tournaments and Leagues: Providing a venue for local tournaments and leagues, promoting competitive sports.
  • Leadership and Volunteering Opportunities: Encouraging community involvement through leadership, volunteering, and officiating roles.
  • Diverse and Inclusive Opportunities: Focusing on increasing participation among women, girls, and individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Consultations with local clubs have confirmed the feasibility of the project, projecting that the new facility could host up to 84 teams, with over 1,000 participants accessing it weekly. Endeavour Learning Trust's extensive experience in delivering similar projects ensures that the new pitch will be maintained to a high standard and accessible to both the school and the wider community.

Mark Forster, Director of Community and Partnerships at Endeavour Learning Trust, said: “The development of this artificial grass pitch will be a tremendous benefit for the entire community which is much needed. This new facility will offer a versatile, weather-resistant space for sports and recreational activities, ensuring that both the residents of West Lancashire and students of Ormskirk School have access to high quality facilities year-round.”

“We intend to work with partners and stakeholders to develop an inclusive and engaging programme of use that will focus on the promotion of healthy living, supporting of local clubs, and fostering a stronger, more connected community. This is not just an investment in infrastructure; it's an investment in our collective wellbeing and future.”

David Clayton, the CEO of Endeavour Learning Trust, said: “This project is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the local community. By providing a state-of-the-art sports facility, we are creating opportunities for everyone to participate in physical activities, building community spirit, and promoting healthy lifestyles. The new 3G pitch will be a cornerstone for local sports development, ensuring that everyone has the chance to enjoy the benefits of sports and recreation."