£100k Olympic fund to improve Langho and Great Harwood sport pitches

First published in Hyndburn Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

COMMUNITY sports pitches are sharing a £100,000 lottery windfall to stop matches being called off due to flooding.

It is hoped Sport England awards of £50,000 each to Langho FC and Great Harwood Cricket Club will end problems during poor weather.

New drainage systems will be installed after last year’s wet summer and the wettest spring on record this year has seen matches cancelled or played elsewhere.

Langho FC said that due to damage caused to the pitches by flooding, the majority of home games have been moved to alternative venues.

Flooding at Great Harwood Cricket Club in problem weather has seen many junior and senior matches cancelled – with eight first team home games abandoned last season.

The cricket club will use the investment to part-fund a project to improve the drainage on the outfield, which has suffered over the past few years with the consistent heavy rainfall, particularly in summer months.

Club secretary Stuart Maher said: “We are delighted as it means we can upgrade the quality of our playing fields to match the quality of our cricket.

“It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics’ legacy and, thanks to the many local schools and other organisations which supported our bid, we will now be able to continue to work with them to achieve this.”

Langho FC is using the money towards the estimated total cost of £112,000 to improve the drainage of the pitches at both the Rydings and Northcote Lane sites, The club is also pursuing funding bids through the Lancashire FA with the Football Foundation to match the funding provided by Sport England.

It comes as even more local sports fields across the country are to be safeguarded and improved after Sport England announced a 50 per cent boost to the Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund.

The next round of funding will open on Monday, June 10. Sport England will invest between £20,000 and £50,000 of lottery funding in projects that will create, improve and protect playing fields.

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