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Could Sutton Bridge develop multi-sports area if football club moves?

Sutton Bridge United FC could switch to an edge of village location if grants can be found to finance new football and multiple sports facilities.

The step could lead to more football pitches and improved facilities for footballers along with opportunities to bring in other sports, such as hockey.

SBUFC is currently based at the parish council-owned Memorial Park.

Sutton Bridge United FC (in blue) playing Polonia at Memorial Park last year.
Sutton Bridge United FC (in blue) playing Polonia at Memorial Park last year.

The council-owned, concrete pavilion on the site, built in the early 1950s, is coming to the end of its life.

The need to replace the pavilion has seen the parish council form a committee with members of SBUFC to explore the next steps.

The pavilion currently has two changing rooms, showers, a referees' room and a kitchen.

Memorial Park has only two football pitches - an adults' and a juniors' - but there's little room to grow and no room for additional pitches.

So far the East Coast Community Fund has announced a provisional grant aid commitment of up to £15,000 to help build a new pavilion in Memorial Park.

But councillors feel switching to another site - with room to expand sports facilities - could be the way forward if they are to net grants from other bodies.

Nothing is decided yet but any switch could involve a move to an area north of the village, known as Speechley's Land.

The council is now awaiting a consultation with the Football Foundation, who distribute funds on behalf of the Football Association, before deciding the next step.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood stressed: "It's still very much in its infancy.

"The pavilion is past its sell-by date.

"Hopefully if we get a better building - wherever it is - it will encourage people into sport."

Apart from the pitches at Memorial Park, Coun Grimwood says there are few sports facilities at "this end of the county" and he would like to see that change.

As well as being dependent upon grants, any sports developments at Speechley's Land would need planning consent.

At Tuesday's Sutton Bridge Parish Council meeting, clerk Robert Smith told members he is due to have a telephone consultation with the Football Foundation during the second week of February.

What do you think? Email your view to our editor Jeremy Ransome at jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk


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