Bringing sport to local people in Calderdale

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Posted 27th March 2017

Sports pitches in Calderdale could be transformed as a new Playing Pitch Strategy is discussed at Calderdale Council’s meeting of Cabinet.

There are over 400 playing fields across Calderdale dedicated to a variety of different sports. These pitches vary in quality and some areas of the borough are lacking in facilities.

To ensure the provision of outdoor playing pitches meets the needs of existing and future residents within Calderdale, the Council has developed the Calderdale Playing Pitch Strategy and Action Plan.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said: “We’re on a mission to become the most active borough in the north of England by 2021 and as part of this we need to make activity as accessible as possible. It’s so important that we ensure that we have a wide range of varied sports pitches and facilities to encourage usage and allow people to increase their activity more easily.

“This strategy supports our ambition, looking to protect the existing facilities, enhance playing pitches and provide new facilities where there is current or likely future demand.”

The strategy has been developed with guidance from Sport England as well as in consultation with local sports clubs and schools. It is designed to act as a framework to guide the development of opportunities for outdoor sports provision to meet the needs of local people.

Cllr Press added: “Since our last strategy was developed in 2012, the Council has provided long term leases on playing pitches, allowing Calderdale sports clubs to access over £500,000 worth of funding. By updating our strategy we can continue to access external funding to invest in facilities across the borough.”

One club which has benefitted from funding from Sport England, is Ryburn United. The Chairman of the Junior Football Club, Ian Forbes, said of the funding: “As leaseholders we were able to apply for grants the Council could not. We were successful in being awarded a substantial grant from Sport England for drainage work on our pitches…this has allowed us to play more games, have less postponements and also create more teams allowing our 230 players to enjoy our fields.

“We have no regrets taking on the lease and look forward to continued support from Calderdale Council.”

The strategy will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 3 April.

Active Calderdale is the plan for the district to become the most active borough in the north of England by 2021. Activity is vital to good health and wellbeing, and by asking people to be more active in any way they choose, we’ll see far reaching benefits. Join in the conversation on twitter using #activecdale

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