Plans to open up Sir Halley for public use

Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field could be opened up for community use by South Holland District Council.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field could be opened up for community use by South Holland District Council. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Sports clubs and schools in Spalding could be given the honour of playing on the same hallowed turf as champions, according to a council report.

Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, home of reigning UCL (United Counties League) Premier Division champions Spalding United, is set to be opened up for community use after a recommendation by a task group set to investigate public access to it.

South Holland District Council were due to meet last night when a report on the future of the playing field in Winfrey Avenue was scheduled to be discussed.

A report by the task group for the meeting said: “Between May and September 2013, concerns were raised by the Charity Commission about management of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field to ensure that sufficient public benefit was being demonstrated.

“The task group has concluded that, although compliant with the law, deeds and Charity Commission guidance, there was scope to make the playing field more accessible to a wider cross-section of the public.

“It has been noted, however, that demand (other than for football has historically been very low and whilst efforts to promote the site for wider use might increase demand, this is far from certain.”

The playing field costs the council just over £30,000 a year to run, according to the report, but any group wishing to use the site would have to fit in with matches played by Spalding United.

The report said: “The council should seek to widen public access and to make it easier for potential users to book the playing field.”