A NEW £600,000 football pitch set to open at a Blackburn school in the new year will be a ‘huge community asset’ for the whole region, football bosses have said.

The state-of-the art floodlit pitch at Our Lady and St John Catholic College has been funded by £591,000 grant from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.

The North Road school is working with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust (BRCT) who will be delivering weekly coaching sessions and mentoring as well as taking reservations from local groups.

The pitch will be used year round for lessons, recreational and competitive team events and for grassroots organisations.

Peter Tite, headteacher, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this new facility.

“Sport and physical fitness are so important for children and adults alike.

“Our students are very excited about the new pitch and know it will help them to develop their skills. I am pleased the local community will benefit as well.”

Andrew Jackson, head of PE, said: “3G pitches are the most significant and successful development in synthetic surface technology designed for both competitive and recreational levels.

“This will make a huge difference to sport played at Our Lady and St John.”

Gary Robinson, BRCT chief executive officer, said: “The pitch is state-of-the-art and we’re proud that Blackburn Rovers Community Trust - the club’s official charity - has been entrusted with the responsibility of maximising the availability of the facilities to local groups.

“We already have reservations from a number of grassroots clubs, and we’re excited about being able to enhance the whole collection of sporting facilities at the school over time, so that it can be viewed as one of the foremost community facilities in the area.

“Our thanks go to the senior staff at Our Lady and St John for such a smooth process to get us to this point, and with the earth broken on the project, we can’t wait to see the end product and start making a huge difference to the quality of sports provision in our area.”

The funding was granted as part of a £28.3million pot from the Premier League and FA to help support grassroots sport facility projects across the country. Blackburn with Darwen Council who also provided a £50,000 grant towards it.