A £1.4-million scheme featuring six state-of-the-art pitches and courts at the Ribble Valley 3G sports complex in Clitheroe has received the starting whistle.

A full-size artificial grass pitch has been installed and two five-a-side football pitches resurfaced at the Edisford Road site.

The scheme also includes a new toilet block and community room, and three sand-surfaced multi-sports courts, which are undergoing the finishing touches.

Although yet to receive an official opening, which is in the pipelines, the pitches are now open for business.

Council bosses claim bookings have been coming in thick and fast, with around a dozen football clubs and leagues already using the facility throughout the week.

Ribble Valley Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “This exciting scheme will contribute significantly to the development of sport and community activity in the borough, by facilitating a range of year-round activities unaffected by the weather.

“The new full-size artificial pitch is FIFA and World Rugby-accredited, the five-a-side pitches FIFA-accredited and the sand-surfaced courts – suitable for tennis, netball, cricket, football and hockey – built to Lawn Tennis Association standards .

“There has been a high level of interest in the new pitches and bookings for the new season are coming in thick and fast.”

The site has been developed by CLS Sports, one of the UK’s leading sports facility and pitch construction contractors.

Bookings can be made directly through Ribble Valley Council.