Work on a new multi-use sports pitch at The Burgate School in Fordingbridge has begun.

Initial works started on Monday, September 18.

Part of the funding came from New Forest District Council, which contributed £250,000 toward £896,755 total cost of the project that was announced in July. £601,255 was provided by the Football Foundation, with additional funding from Fordingbridge Turks FC, Fordingbridge Rugby and the school itself.

Councillor Derek Tipp, portfolio holder for planning and economy, said: “The Burgate School and Sixth Form is well placed geographically for an improved open space in Fordingbridge. We have worked with the school to develop an open space that will benefit the local football and rugby clubs as well as being open for community events. It will be a major boost to all-weather sports provision in the town and will allow multiple practice or match sessions to operate at the same time.”

SEE ALSO: Maltings cake shop announces closure following cakemaker's news from doctors on heart problems

Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities.

“This grant award to The Burgate School and Sixth Form towards developing a new 3G football turf pitch is fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to a great place to play.”

The pitch is expected to be ready for use by the school and wider community by February.