A NEW artificial grass pitch due to be put in place at a school in Wokingham has taken a step forward after receiving extra funding.

Wokingham Borough Council plan to install a new third generation artificial grass pitch at The Emmbrook School and have received the funding from The Premier League, The FA and government’s Football Foundation.

The £480,298 grant is in addition to the £350,000 developer contributions the borough council has already secured for the scheme.

Councillor Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “The Emmbrook 3G pitch will be a fantastic addition to our leisure facilities in the borough, which will benefit not only the school but local clubs and community groups.

“We’re making significant investment in our leisure facilities at a time when many local authorities across the country are scaling back.”

Students will be able to use the pitch during school hours and for after-school activities. Football clubs including the borough council’s partners Wokingham and Emmbrook FC and Ashridge Park FC and community groups will be allowed to use it in the evenings and weekends.

The new pitch has been designed to enhance the school’s PE provision and will also create a community facility for everyone.

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 307 grants worth £6.4million across Berks & Bucks County FA region towards grassroots sports projects worth £15.2million and it is great to hear that The Emmbrook School will be the latest beneficiary.  

“Funding from the Premier League, The FA and government, delivered by the foundation, will support the school in developing a brand new all-weather pitch for the local community.

"Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.”

The council is in the process of appointing a contractor for the project, and hopes building work will start during the summer, so that the pitch can open later this year.