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Breakthrough made in replacing Salop Road fields

 
Created on 26/11/2021 @ 16:49

 

A community group that has been campaigning for replacement playing fields to be created in Welshpool for those that were lost on Salop Road to the new school appears to have made a significant breakthrough.

Welshpool Town Football Club has made a planning application to Powys County Council to change an area of agricultural land (pictured) close to the town to recreational use.

The club has been working with the community group, led by former Welshpool High School headteacher, Paul Coackley, to identify and secure a new facility to address the shortage created Salop Road development three years ago.

“This is a major step forward for the town and community in replacing the fields,” said Chris Roberts, Chairman of Welshpool Town Football Club, in a joint statement with Mr Coackley.

“We have been working together on this for over three years now and this represents a major opportunity.”

The application will be decided on by Powys planners but it is hoped that it will be looked upon favourably as some Welshpool clubs have had to play their matches and train outside of town.

The next phase of the project, if approved, will be to raise money to turn the land west of the current rugby pitches into playing surfaces. That figure is believed to be in the region of £60,000 and a crowd funding site is being created to accept donations.

“We will need to raise money to create good quality pitches and we want to begin work in April 2022 so we hit the growing season in the spring,” said Mr Coackley.

“This will enable us to have the pitches potentially playable in September 2022. This will benefit juniors, youth and women as well as allow the club to expand its provision, especially on the girls side.”

The group is also actively seeking grants from a variety of sources and will be launching a number of fund raising initiatives.

The project has already received backing from Welshpool Town Mayor, Alison Davies, who said: “This is great news for Welshpool. The loss of the pitches near the Flash put enormous strain on the clubs and the Town Council pitches. There are many more teams and age groups and we have all been struggling to reach solutions.

“By working together and an enormous amount of hard work it seems that we are nearly there! Well done to everyone involved.”

Welshpool County Councillor, Graham Breeze, has also backed the bid and said: “This is a wonderful community initiative which I hope the people and businesses of Welshpool will support. It is a unique opportunity to provide long-term facilities for the town’s youngsters.

“Junior and ladies football suffered a great loss when Powys County Council removed the Salop Road playing facilities and it has been an enormous task to seek out and provide an alternative solution.

“I can not speak highly enough of the people who have been working tirelessly to get to this point. They deserve all the support we can give them as a town.”

Anyone requiring further information or wishes to support can contact Mr Coackley on pcoackley@gmail.com.

 

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