A well-known Nottinghamshire sports club is celebrating after netting £30,000 in council funding towards a new £250,000 state-of-the-art playing surface.
Nottingham Hockey Club, in partnership with Redhill Ladies Hockey Club, has replaced the ageing artificial grass pitch at Goosedale Sports Club on the edge of Bestwood Village amid concerns over the safety of people using it.
The playing surface was installed in 1992 but over the years its condition significantly deteriorated and maintaining it had become untenable due to its age.
But now the clubs can look forward to a bright future following the installation of the new pitch – which was officially opened at a special ceremony on Saturday, 11 September.
Nottinghamshire County Council has contributed £30,000 towards the project from its Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), with the remainder of the costs being met by funding from Sport England, the National Hockey Foundation, the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund (administered by the Derbyshire Environmental Trust) and donations from past and current club members.
Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the Communities Committee which oversees the LIS funding, attended the celebration event and said the new pitch would help to breathe new life into the club.
He said: “I am delighted funding from our Local Improvement Scheme has helped one of the county’s most historic clubs to install a new playing surface which will go a long way to improving access to sport for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Nottinghamshire has a strong sporting heritage and Goosedale is a fantastic facility which is enjoyed by hundreds of local sportsmen and women each year, ultimately helping to improve the health and wellbeing of many – which is a key factor for us when we decide which organisations should benefit from LIS funding.”
Cllr Chris Barnfather, whose Newstead Division includes Goosedale, said he was impressed by the facilities at the venue.
He said: “I would like to pay tribute to everyone connected with the hockey clubs and Goosedale Sports Club for their commitment to deliver this fantastic project, which we have helped to support via our LIS scheme.
“The much-needed upgrade will also benefit the wider community and I am sure it will go a long way to encourage more local people take up sports such as hockey.
“It was wonderful to see the players, including so many youngsters, enjoying the new playing surface and I would like to wish the clubs who use the facilities every success for the future.”
Hockey has been played at Goosedale since 1937 when two former club members bought 17 acres of land to facilitate a move from the riverside pitches near Trent Bridge.
Today, it is used for sports such as hockey, cricket and youth football with more than 1,000 people enjoying the facilities it has to offer.
Adam George, the project lead at Goosedale Sports Club, said: “We have been truly blessed with such great support from so many, and I thank God that our applications for funding have been successful and enabled us to raise the amount needed to deliver this much-needed pitch upgrade.
“We now have a leisure facility that will provide for sports clubs, community groups and schools for many years, and we look forward to being instrumental in helping the local authorities deliver their strategic objectives around improving health and wellbeing in the local area.
“Nottinghamshire County Council’s recognition of Goosedale Sports Club as a county-wide community asset is hugely appreciated, and we are truly grateful for their grant offer through the Local Improvement Scheme.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to again thank other key financial supporters, particularly Sport England (funded by National Lottery players), the National Hockey Foundation, the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund (administered by the Derbyshire Environmental Trust) and some present and former club members who made exceedingly generous donations, without which this ambitious project would not have been possible.
“I would also like to extend our gratitude to the Active Partners Trust (Active Notts), Gedling Borough Council, Bestwood Village Parish Council, England Hockey and Southwell Brincliffe United Ladies Hockey Club, all of whom have formally pledged their support and backed our bids for funding.
“I am convinced that having this kind of support from other organisations has been vital in demonstrating the value of our pitch here as a great investment that benefits the wider county.”