MP John Grogan and former Bradford City star John Hendrie officially opened the brand new 3G football pitch facilities at Ben Rhydding Sports Club.
Ilkley Town Football Club worked in partnership with Ilkley Grammar School in West Yorkshire to receive a £376,613.00 grant through the Football Association and The Premier League Facilities Fund; this enabled the transformation of existing grass pitch into an exemplary 3G football pitch.
Before the new facilities were built, Ilkley Town FC played mainly on natural turf pitches at many locations and hired out 3G artificial pitches to cater for evening training sessions at Ben Rhydding and at St Mary’s School. This arrangement was not suitable for the club; as the artificial sand dressed grass pitch at Ben Rydding was built in 1994 and designed specifically for hockey. The hired natural grass pitches were not floodlit, which significantly limited the club’s options for training times. During the winter months the grass pitches were almost impossible to use due to waterlogging and deep mud, resulting the in the council often closing the pitches for three months every winter to allow the turf to recover.
McArdle Sport Tec were thrilled to be working in partnership with TigerTurf after winning the competitive tender to construct the full-size community 3G football pitch. Using TigerTurf’s Atomic Pro 60 for the artificial carpet, complete with new LED floodlighting and fencing. The new AGP facilities will allow the club to meet the high demand for new teams and vastly improve the flexibility and frequency of training sessions that the club can now offer. Ilkley Town FC aim to increase the number of members especially within the women’s teams and encourage users with disabilities and over 50’s to partake in walking football. Currently 24 teams use the 3G football pitch however they predict the number of teams will rise to 32 in the coming months.
Ilkley Grammar School worked in partnership with Ilkley Town FC to help obtain the vital funds through the Football Foundation, with 1500 students attending the secondary education school they have access and use of the 3G football pitch during term time from 9am until 3pm
John Hendrie, Former Bradford City FC player:
“I am really pleased to help unveil this new pitch for Ilkley Town FC, and my thanks go to the club for inviting me to do so. Ilkley Town FC is an integral part of the community here, and it is great that more local people now have access to a state-of-the-art-facility. The club worked hard to get funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and I would like to thank the fund for their support of grassroots football.”
Ilkley Town FC raised the additional funds through a vast number of revenues including: crowd funding, community investments, supporter loan stock offer schemes, existing funds, the local Parish Council and District Roundtable, the club also raised £10,000.00 through a black tie ball attended by 290 members.
Simon Armstrong, Ilkley Town FC Facility Manager stated:
“We are incredibly thankful Mr Grogan and Mr Hendrie could open our outstanding community facility. The club, as a whole did an incredible job of raising the funds in such a short space of time and with the assistance of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund we have been able to deliver a unique experience in Ilkley. The 3G pitch is already having a huge impact with Ilkley Grammar School use during the day, all Ilkley teams training at the same site and an average 4 to 5 club fixtures being played every weekend on the new artificial surface. Community partners Burley Trojans FC and West Riding FA are constantly feeding back on the quality of the surface and set up we now have.”