Progress on South Ribble Borough Council’s £2.6m playing pitch hub

Source: South Ribble Borough Council 24 January 2022

South Ribble Borough Council can today share a progress update its flagship professional standard playing pitch hub off Withy Grove Park in Bamber Bridge.

Councillor Mick Titherington onsite with Councillor Clare Hunter (Bamber Bridge East) and Councillor Chris Lomax (Walton-le-Dale East).

The council has invested around a whopping £1.8m into the development – making it one of our biggest steps yet to transform the leisure offer in the borough.

Opening this summer, the site will boast two brand-new 3G artificial sports pitches complemented by a fully accessible state-of-the-art sports pavilion to the southwest of the existing Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, which will serve both the new artificial pitches and the existing Withy Grove play area.

The development is well underway, with the pavilion now just shy of roof height and the roof set to be installed next month. Once done, the inside kit-out of the four new team changing rooms, showers, separate disability accessible changing facilities and a changing room for officials can get underway. The pavilion will also boast a social room with a small kitchen as well as several storage rooms

Recent bad weather has slightly affected the groundwork on the two 3G pitches, however the project is on track to open this summer – in time for the new football season.

Councillor Mick Titherington, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m so pleased to see this development progress. I visited the site recently and to see the pavilion nearly at full height, you can really see the scale of what we are doing here and can see just how many people across the community will be able to benefit from this incredible, professional-standard facility.

“As a council we have invested a significant amount of money into the development of this facility because we know just how much our community needs it.

“There are already some 244 football teams playing on formal pitches in the borough – including 48 adult teams, 60 youth teams and 136 mini-mixed teams. However, there are currently only five full-sized artificial pitches in the borough and only two available on weekends.

“And we’re not just talking about football. The creation of the South Ribble Playing Pitch Hub is a key element of our ‘More People, More Active’ strategy, which aims to get more adults and children to participate in sport. At the heart of this strategy is the determination to provide the very best facilities for our residents.

“This professional-standard facility will be something we can be proud to have in our borough and I cannot wait to see the facility up and running and to see people right across our community getting more active this summer.”

Pavilion development 1

The project is being supported by the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, taking input from ‘Football Foundation Fan’ and Leyland-born freestyle world record holder Liv Cooke.

In addition to the pavilion and 3G pitches, the existing Leisure Centre car park is to be extended to the south to provide an additional 77 car spaces – taking the total to 206, including 10 disabled spaces – and eight of these spaces will include electric vehicle charging facilities.

Two minibus spaces and two coach lay-bys will also be created along with 12 cycle hoops accommodating 24 cycles. Meanwhile, Brindle Road junction is to be re-modelled and improved.

A substantial tree planting scheme has been approved and, in total, 144 new trees are to be planted on site along with more than 1,000 whips (young trees) which will grow alongside them.


Short clip with update from Councillor Titherington and footage of site development including drone footage:

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