A 30-YEAR-OLD artificial grass pitch at Hyndburn Leisure Centre will be replaced in a £165,000 project, it has been revealed.

The full-sized sand-based pitch will be replaced with a new 3G artificial pitch with floodlighting suitable for multiple sports.

The facility, in Henry Street, Church, will get a new pitch with markings for junior and adult football, hockey, and rugby.

Planning permission has already been granted, and work is due to be completed before September.

Portfolio holder for leisure at Hyndburn Council, Coun Ciaran Wells, said: “This is excellent news for Hyndburn. The current pitch at Hyndburn Leisure Centre is no longer fit for purpose, and there is a need for artificial sports pitches in the borough which are suitable to play competitive games.

“The new pitch will cater for football, hockey and some rugby training, and will be suitable for competitive adult and junior football leagues.

“We want to encourage as many people to take part in sport as possible and improving local facilities is a great way of achieving this.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “Improving the pitch at Hyndburn Leisure Centre has been a priority for some time, and we are delighted that Sport England has approved our bid for funds to do this.

“We hope that the work on the pitch will start soon in time for it being open in September.”

Between now and 2017, Sport England will invest £45million of lottery funding through the improvement fund into medium-sized projects to improve grassroots sport facilities.

Sport England’s property director Charles Johnston said: “We know people have a better experience of sport when they have good facilities in which to play.

“This investment will ensure the people of Hyndburn will be able to develop a sporting habit for life in an first-class, environmentally-friendly sports facility.”