Sports facilities at Slades Park in Bournemouth have received a further boost thanks to the opening of a new full-size floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) by Active Dorset and Winton & Glenmoor Academy. The new pitch was officially opened by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp last week (Friday 20 December).
The new pitch was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.
After netting a £584,043 grant from the Football Foundation, as well as £75,000 from the Talbot Village Trust and investment from Active Dorset and Glenmoor & Winton Academy, work begun on the site in July 2019. The new facility replaces a disused tarmac area on the Academy site and will help to reduce playing pressure on existing grass pitches.
The grant enabled Active Dorset to build the first-of-its-kind pitch in Bournemouth, which sits alongside a new pavilion, Olympic sized velodrome, play area and dog friendly facilities; helping to transform Slades Park into a vibrant hub of activity for all.
The Bournemouth Playing Pitch Strategy adopted in 2014 identified the provision of a full-size 3G pitch at Slades Park as its top priority. With the nearest similar all-weather facility four miles away and used almost exclusively by AFC Bournemouth, the local football need driven by three partner organisations: Bournemouth Electric FC, Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, supported the need for the new pitch.
Students at Glenmoor & Winton Academy as well as numerous community footballers will all benefit from the new pitch. It is anticipated that the formation of 62 new football teams will support over 1,100 people playing affiliated football at Slades Park over the next five years.
Martin Kimberley, Chief Executive of Active Dorset, said: “Having this 3G pitch at Slades Park is a major advance in developing opportunities for everyone. I would like to thank all of our partners who have helped us in acquiring this new facility.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Winton & Glenmoor has now opened their new all-weather pitch at Slades Park in Bournemouth thanks to investment from the Football Foundation.
“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.
“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”