Plans for an all-weather sports pitch at what will be the new home of Newport Football Club have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council.
The plans have been lodged by Newport FC owners South Coast Leisure as part of their vision to create a state-of-the-art new facility off The Racecourse.
As well as ensuring the club is able to train and fulfil its fixtures whatever the weather, the new pitch will also help the aim of creating a sustainable new home for Newport FC that is also a well-used hub for community sporting and fitness activity.
Already the plans have been backed by Newport FC Supporters Trust and future users including the IW College who would use the new facility as a training and coaching hub. South Coast Leisure is keen that the new pitch and facilities will encourage woman’s and youth football as well as participation in sport by those with physical, mental and learning challenges as well as older people.
Peter Westhorpe, secretary of Newport FC Supporters Trust, said:
“There are very sound footballing reasons for upgrading to an all-weather pitch as it will always be available for training and matchday use.
“But if Newport Football Club is to become truly sustainable and to reach its full potential then it needs to form closer links to the community. This all-weather facility will enable the club to become a centre of community sporting and fitness use as a synthetic pitch is better able to cope with more usage and will be unaffected by periods of adverse weather.”
Paul Buckland, head of sport and fitness at the IW College said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the college football academy and staff to help support a community hub for football players of all ages and genders in terms of player development and coaching.
“It will give our learners a firm foundation to develop coaching and employability skills. We look forward to developing a partnership with Newport FC that will allow this to happen.”
The plan for the new pitch has been submitted as a variation to the planning permission already granted for the site and nearby residents have been notified of the proposals in line with SCL’s commitment to keeping the local community informed.