Junior Pendle footballers face running out of space

Barnoldswick Juniors need playing room

Barnoldswick Juniors need playing room

First published in News

A GROWING junior football club is running out of places to play in Barnoldswick, councillors have been told.

Barnoldswick Town Juniors currently have around 15 teams across various age groups, catering for 222 children. But FA guidelines stipulate that these young footballers should be playing on pitch sizes appropriate to their age group.

Ian Worsick, Barnoldswick Town Juniors chairman, said: “We’ve been growing so fast, we seem to have more and more teams each year. And there aren’t any smaller five and seven-a-side pitches in Barnoldswick that are up to standard.”

Councillors on the West Craven area committee have met with the club to try to solve the problem.

Committee chairman Coun David Whipp said: “The FA requirements are creating a lot of demand for pitches.”

The club uses its own 11-a-side pitch at Victory Park but another set aside for the club is used by a funfair company twice a year, which can make it unplayable during the season.

Coun Whipp added: “We need to find an alternative option for the fairground. When the fair uses that pitch in May and September it causes damage at a time when the grass needs regenerating.”

Councillors are also investigating the possibility of bringing a pitch into use at Letcliffe Park and examining whether Rolls-Royce would allow the use of their sports facilities.

Mr Worsick added: “The council has limited resources so there is only so much that they can do.” He said there would be space at Victory Park to create two smaller pitches at a nearby old bottle tip, but high costs meant the club could not afford to carry out the works.

“It would cost us £50,000 to £60,000 to convert it to stop any of the glass coming through,” he added.

Coun Whipp said Pendle Council’s parks department had drawn up a programme of works for the Victory Park pitches, which was due to be carried out in the spring.

But he added: “We need to make representations to the FA about the size of the pitches. It’s wholly unrealistic to be able to provide these sizes.”

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