0 Louth Hockey Club ‘over the moon’ after ELDC approves investment

East Lindsey District Council formally agreed to support a programme of investment in sports facilities in Louth at their meeting last week.

The London Road Pavilion site.

As reported in last week's Leader, the decision - made last Wednesday evening - will see £130,000 invested in a new AstroTurf surface at the London Road Pavilion to replace the existing pitch which is 20 years old and reaching the end of its life.

Louth Hockey Club, one of the principal users of the facility, have also committed to contributing towards the project, providing a total of £50,000, through an initial £10,000 lump-sum and a further £40,000 interest free loan from the district council.

The works are set to commence on the replacement facility before the end of the current financial year.

The district council also agreed to provide £170,000 towards a new 3G all-weather football pitch, subject to feasibility work and securing additional external funding.

The Lincolnshire Football Association have identified a need for new 3G pitches in East Lindsey. A new pitch of this type would provide a state of the art playing surface for football, facilitating both training and competitive matches.

It is estimated that a new facility will cost in the region of £825,000 and the Council will now work with their leisure and culture partners, Magna Vitae, the FA, local Football Clubs, and schools to progress the proposals.

Councillor Graham Marsh, Deputy Leader of ELDC and Portfolio Holder for Partnerships, said: "As a Council, we have made a commitment within our corporate strategy to do all we can to support our residents to live healthy and active lives, by committing to investments like this we can do just that.

"Having worked with our partners at Magna Vitae, and through them the clubs that are based at London Road, we've been able to bring about these proposals that will ensure the site has a strong future and is equipped to serve the local community who value it so much for many more years to come."

Aeneas Richardson, Executive Director, from Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, added: "We're incredibly pleased to see this level of commitment from East Lindsey District Council.

"London Road Pavilion plays a huge part in the leisure and sporting offer in Louth and this significant funding will help ensure that the site remains one of the district's leading venues for outdoor sports and recreation well into the future."

The chairwoman of Louth Hockey Club, Lesley Ward, said her members are 'over the moon' with the decision, which came after a three-year battle to ensure a new artificial pitch was installed.

Lesley said: "As a club, we are delighted that all the hard work put in has resulted in a new surface shortly to be laid on the London Road site.

"The hockey club has tremendous support within the town and we are truly grateful to everyone who has donated to our many fund-raising events thus enabling the club to make a sizeable contribution to the new pitch.

"We have worked very closely with Louth Town Council, ELDC and Magna Vitae on what has been a long and winding road to get to this position, and we are indebted to them for their support.

"The future of Louth Hockey Club is extremely bright and with the laying of the new surface it will ensure that league hockey continues to be played in Louth, this being key to the club's growth."

She added: "There were some dark days when we thought the club might have to fold if it didn't have a pitch to play on, but the determination of our members and the fantastic public support has made sure there is a new dawn of sporting success rising over the London Road venue.

"This new pitch will ensure the club and its members have a facility to be proud of, and we look forward to welcoming many more generations of hockey players in the years to come."


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