Hundreds of sport lovers can now enjoy a brand new 3G pitch in Cottingham after a local business worked hand in hand with a local authority to make the project possible.
King George V Playing Fields in Cottingham has not had an all-weather football pitch for years after its Astroturf became tired and eventually condemned.
The loss of recreational space meant East Riding Rangers Football Club, which has 14 teams of all ages, including 160 children, had to relocate to other pitches in the East Riding, particularly in the winter months.
Since then, £35,000 has been secured by East Riding of Yorkshire Council as a commuted sum to cover the cost of the new pitch.
Sewell Construction also donated thousands of pounds worth of work to prepare the ground before the new pitch was laid and offered management time, labour and materials free of charge.
Now, Hull City Ambassador and former Hull City star Dean Windass has officially opened the pitch and said it will make a real difference to those who use it.
He said: “This is great, especially for the kids. The quality of the pitch plays a big part in the quality of their game and I’m really pleased to be asked to come along to open it.
“The facilities are fantastic now and I wish we’d had this kind of pitch when I was a kid.
“It will definitely help them to grow and improve their skills.”
Alongside football teams, it is hoped a walking football group will be re-established and other community groups, teams and schools will book the space.
Alicia Mail, Club Secretary at East Riding Rangers, said: “For the last two to three years, the old Astroturf has been out of use and too dangerous to use, as it started to break and moss grew on it. All of our teams in the winter had to use other pitches elsewhere.
“We spoke to East Riding of Yorkshire Council and this fantastic award was allocated to the club. But when it came down to it, we didn’t realise there was sand underneath the pitch and it had to be removed before a new pitch could be laid.
“Then Sewell Construction offered to do this work for us, which meant the project could go ahead.
“We are so excited about it, so grateful and we are bowled over by the support.
“To know people are out there and willing to do things like this for community groups is amazing, and to have Dean officially open the facility is wonderful.”
Barbara Wilkinson, a member of the Friends of King George V Playing Fields, said: “This is the best thing to happen to us for years.
“It’s going to make such a difference. It always used to be busy and we hope it will be again.”
Councillor Andy Burton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment and Planning Delivery at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am delighted that the system of commuted sums has allowed such great partnership work with the local authority, private business and a local sports club to enable such a great facility to be completed.
“It will make an enormous difference to East Riding Rangers Football Club, as well as the residents of the local area.”
Geoff Smith, Contract Manager at Sewell Construction, said the business was pleased to help and leave a positive legacy.
“We invest in the communities we work in and we are absolutely delighted to be able to give back in this way,” he said.
“Giving back is part of our culture and values, and offering our expertise and practical support is really important to us. We listen, support our partners and bring our skills to help solve problems, and we’re passionate about leaving a positive legacy.
“We hope people will be able to benefit from the pitch for many years to come.”