Sarum Academy has gained a new 3G artificial turf football pitch, opened by MP John Glen and mayor Caroline Corbin.

The new pitch has been planned for more than three years through a partnership with the Football Association (FA).

The new pitch opened on Friday March 25.

Read more: Salisbury set to gain new 3G football pitch worth almost £700k

By July, the project had secured a £500,000 funding grant from the Football Foundation.

The project leaders also received a £10,000 funding boost from The Hills Group Limited, made available through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) which is administered for Hills by Community First, the Rural Community Council for Wiltshire.

Salisbury City Council also provided a grant of £5,000 to support the project.

There was also funding provided by the Trust Board of Magna Learning Partnership, who decided to invest in the facility.

The site will be used by all nine schools in Magna Learning Partnership, by other local schools, both primary and secondary and by SEND children in the area, including those taught at Springfields South on the Sarum Academy campus.

Work began on the site in early September, to replace an grassed playing area which was much-used by the school but often became too waterlogged to be safe during winter.

The new facility comprises multiple pitch sizes that can be laid out as 11v11 (full size), 9v9 or 7v7 (half pitch) and 5v5 (quarter pitch).

It will complement the work that the Trust will do to bring the remaining grass pitches in line with FA playing standards.

There are close links established with Southampton Football Club and Headteacher Jen Moore of Sarum Academy was delighted to receive a signed club shirt for the school at the opening ceremony last Friday.

Claire Anthony, Director of Finance and Business at Magna learning Partnership said: “We are grateful to John Glen MP for joining us last Friday to officially open the new pitch. There is no question that this marvellous new facility will improve grassroots sport in the area.

"With the immense support from the FA and government’s funding through the Football Foundation, this is a real opportunity to kick start the careers of the FA premier league players of the future.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “We are delighted that the Sarum Academy 3G pitch is now open to the public after receiving Football Foundation investment.

“Good quality facilities support the health of local people and communities, which is why we’re investing in projects like this across the country with funding provided by the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.” 

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