SPORTS other than football could still be played on pitches at Witton Park after a £1.2million refurb.

Executive member for children and education Cllr Maureen Bateson quizzed leisure boss Cllr Damian Talbot on whether the facility would still be available to other sports after the major scheme, which will see two new full-sized 3G pitches installed, was complete.

And Cllr Talbot assured Cllr Bateson the opportunity would be there.

“There will be opportunity for other sports on these pitches,” he said. “We have had hockey and netball in the past and we will look at that in the future. We are quite open to keep that going.”

Earlier this year,  Liz Wilkins, who plays for and runs a team in the Blackburn Netball League called Boxer Rescue, said the plans had left teams in the league without a home as the surfaces wouldn’t be suitable for netball but would cater for other sports such as football.

Teams in the league have been playing at Witton Country Park since 1986.

The plans to install new 3G football pitches at Witton Park can now go ahead after an £800,000 grant was secured from the FA’s Football Foundation.

A scheme was drawn up last year to develop two new full sized 3G pitches including floodlights and fencing, as well as refurbished changing rooms.

Now the cash has been secured and will be bolstered by £400,000 taken from housing developers’ contributions from the Sappi Paper Mill site.