The Alton area can look forward to a boost in sporting provision after Alton Town Council secured £50,000 of National Lottery investment from Sport England's Protecting Playing Fields fund.
The Town Council plans to bring back pitches to the Diggers site on Anstey Park to help meet the needs of local sport clubs. The successful application will result in the Town Council being able to meet the demand for junior football pitches, particularly with the introduction of the new 9 a side formation from the FA, and alleviate the issue of capacity at Jubilee Playing Fields. Alton Town Council will use the investment to introduce two full sized football pitches on the Diggers site, with markings for 9 a side pitches within, along with a full sized rugby pitch to make way for the introduction of a full sized football pitch on the main body of Anstey Park in front of the Finnimore Pavilion.
Following a record number of bids, 76 projects across England have been successful in the fourth funding round and will share a total of £3.5 million. Over the four rounds, 727 pitches and nearly 2,600 acres across England have been protected and improved.
Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: "The Protecting Playing Fields fund is a key part of the legacy from London 2012 improving facilities up and down the country. Good pitches, that can be used all year round, are vital to sustain and encourage sports participation. This additional lottery investment will help increase opportunities for people to get involved in sport."
Alton Town Council have also successfully received a £2,500 grant from the Hampshire Playing Fields Association towards the cost of the project. Hampshire Playing Fields Manager, John Coney, stated "This is the highest single grant awarded in the 5 years I have been manager of the association and reflects the importance the HPFA places on this project."
Councillor Sue Hodder, Chairman of the Recreation Committee said "I am delighted that Alton Town Council has secured this investment from Sport England and the Hampshire Playing Fields Association. This means we can increase access to good quality playing fields for people of all ages to enjoy and will support our local clubs to keep their players involved in sport."
Alton Town Council would like to express their gratitude to all clubs and partners who supported the grant application to Sport England.
Dates with news items are highlighted in blue.