FRESH hope has emerged for proposals to build a new artificial sports pitch at a high school in Pendle.

Earlier this year St John Fisher and Thomas More High in Colne made approaches to the Big Lottery Fund and the Football Foundation for a new ‘3G’ synthetic sports area.

The scheme would also have covered the upgrade of grass pitches at the Gibfield Road site, tackling flooding problems by improving drainage.

But borough councillors have been told that the Fisher More lottery application was turned down at an early stage. And the Football Foundation bid was rejected because the school did not fall within the bottom 20 per cent of deprived areas, and because of concerns over its eventual funding.

A Pendle Council spokesman added: “However Lancashire Football Association then invited Fisher More to a meeting on June 10 at their headquarters in Leyland to discuss the project further.

“The council’s parks and recreation service development officer accompanied the school’s representative to this meeting to offer support and input. The project was positively received and the school will now employ a consultant to prepare a technical report for the 3G proposal for submission, together with detailed costings, within the next few months.”

Work started on a new artificial pitch at Nelson and Colne College’s Scotland Road home last April, for football and rugby use, after the establishment received government funding.

The college also has a multi-use games area in the pipeline, alongside new changing facilities.