UPDATED on Wednesday, December 5, 2012: Work on the all-weather pitch has been delayed until the New Year because the ground is waterlogged, according to a member of the All Weather Pitch for Uckfield committee.
Mr Jeremy Hallett said it was ironic that the reason for the delay was the ground being waterlogged. It meant that any construction work would “create a large pond”.
UPDATED: With photograph of turf turning ceremony
Work is expected to begin before Christmas on building an all-weather sports pitch at Uckfield Community Technology College. It should be ready by Easter.
The All Weather Pitch for Uckfield (AW4U) group has received confirmation of a £203,646 grant from the Football Foundation.
This is in addition to a grant for £100,000 form Sports England’s Inspired Facilities fund and money from other organisations such as Uckfield Town Council, Uckfield Community College, East Sussex County Council, Uckfield Lions and local sports groups including Uckfield Grasshoppers and the Uckfield Rugby Club.
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I commend AWP4U and Sussex FA for working tirelessly to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing the end result in the near future. This year is an exciting time for sport in this country and a tremendous opportunity to create a grassroots legacy.
“The FF is the country’s largest sports charity with funding provided from the Premier League, the FA and the government. It is dedicated to raising the standard of grassroots community sports facilities and to getting more people actively playing this national sport.”
College principal Hugh Hennebry said: “The whole community have come together to create a lasting legacy to commemorate the 2012 Olympics; Uckfield will have a world class facility. It is so uplifting to see such a positive response from everybody.”
Gordon Buckland, from the Grasshoppers is equally delighted. He said: “This will enable wider community involvement in football and also be a fantastic facility to nurture future talent.”
MP welcomes grant
Wealden MP, Charles Hendry, was delighted to learn that Uckfield Community Technology College had been awarded the £203,646 by the Football Foundation.
He said: “I am delighted that the Football Foundation chose Uckfield Community Technology College to be one of the many deserving organisations that they are awarding grants to.
“I hope that every student at the college will benefit from this new pitch, and that the school will see many talented students representing their school and winning many games on this artificial grass pitch. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.”
Fund-raising is continuing to complete the project. If you would like to help please visit www.allweathersportforuckfield.co.uk or contact Uckfield Community College on 01825 764844, extension 1252.
Thanks to Ron Hill for the photograph of the turf-turning ceremony.
Here are some of our previous stories about the all-weather pitch: