A key project within the Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan delivery plan, the stunning new facility has replaced the existing artificial grass pitch at the school, which has been out of operation for a number of years.
The £1.2m scheme has been supported through a successful grant application of £589,000 from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, with the reminder of the funding coming through the Warrington Town Deal, Warrington Borough Council and Cardinal Newman High School.
The new, state-of-the-art pitch consists of an artificial grass (3G) surface with floodlights, security fencing, CCTV, controlled gates, and space for spectators, and will cater for 11-a-side, 9 a side, 7-a-side and 5-a-side football.
It will help create a strategic football hub at the school, with school students, the community and local clubs benefitting from the new 3G pitch as well as increased opportunities to enjoy Futsal in the school sports hall, which has also been refurbished.
Cardinal Newman students joined headteacher, Jo Langstaff, schools staff and governors, council members and staff and community members, as well as representatives from the Football Foundation and HM Government, to celebrate the official opening of the facility.
Jo Langstaff said: “'We are delighted to have such a fantastic facility available for our students and our community. After 18 years without an all-weather surface we are extremely grateful to the Football Foundation and particularly Warrington Borough Council for their support with this project. It will transform our students' experience of sport in school which is such a vital part of their education.”
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for leisure and community, Cllr Tony Higgins, said: “It’s great news that this fantastic new facility is now completed. It will bring a huge boost to Cardinal Newman High School along with the wider community, providing accessible, high quality football facilities, which give students and residents new opportunities to be physically active. It’s a first class sporting facility which the whole community can be proud of.”
Cabinet Member for children’s services, Cllr Sarah Hall, added: “Having a centre of footballing excellence will give local students and community members of all abilities the opportunity to participate in the sport, supporting health and wellbeing, education, social inclusion and community cohesion. I’m delighted that work is now completed on the project and I’m looking forward to it making a real difference to local people for many years to come.”
Designed with equality and diversity in mind, the new facility will enhance the provision of accessible sports space within the high school and provide new football opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
School students will use the site for curriculum PE and after school participation between 9am and 5pm. It will be available for community use from 5pm-10pm on weekdays and between 9am and 8pm on weekends. Livewire will manage the site during the hours of community use.
The project also forms part of the Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS), refreshed in January 2020, which incorporates the Local Football Facilities Plan, produced by the Football Foundation and Football Association to support local authorities in identifying current and future facility needs.
The contractors for project are FieldTurf, with nominated sub-contractors S&C Slatter.
Notes to editors
- The Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan covers a wide range of project areas from parks, sport and leisure, to housing, air quality and employment.
- The Cardinal Newman project supports a key Central 6 Masterplan objective of giving young people and the wider community increased opportunities to participate in positive activities.
- It also responds to a priority raised by the community during the masterplan consultation, to improve access to high quality sports pitches and facilities.