Bishop’s Cleeve Football Club will soon see a major upgrade to its facility in the form of a new all-weather 3G pitch thanks to bids by the club for funding from the Football Foundation, Tewkesbury Borough Council and others.

With work on the new artificial pitch due to begin in September, the project will make a significant difference to the club and to the borough as a whole, allowing more local teams of all ages to participate, including disability football.

With a total cost of just over £850,000, the project is being supported by multiple organisations and local bodies. The Football Foundation has awarded a grant of nearly £522,000 and the club has secured several further grants and donations, including one from Tewkesbury Borough Council which pledged its support with a capital grant of £57,000. A crowdfunding campaign also raised £23,000, thanks to 430 local supporters.

In addition to Bishop’s Cleeve Football Club’s youth and senior teams, other local clubs and disabled teams from neighbouring parishes will also be able to use the facility, as will local schools including Cleeve School, Tredington Primary and Bishop’s Cleeve Primary. Cheltenham Town Community Trust also plans to deliver a range of daytime activities at the pitch through its educational programmes.

Councillor Richard Stanley, Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The installation of an artificial 3G pitch at Bishop’s Cleeve Football Club is wonderful news. There is a need for more year-round football pitches within the borough, as identified by the Football Foundation, so it’s fantastic to hear that work will begin on the facility in September.

“This will benefit the wider local area by providing a much needed all year-round facility which can be used by Bishop’s Cleeve and the surrounding communities now and into the future. The new pitch will enable players of all ages, regardless of gender, race or ability, to take part and will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the local community by providing physical and social activities through sport and volunteering opportunities.”

David Walker, Bishop’s Cleeve Football Club chairman, said: “The fantastic news that Tewkesbury Borough Council were prepared to offer a grant could not have come at a better time. The grant has enabled us to secure all the funding we needed for this very exciting project. We can now build a modern community sports hub in Bishop’s Cleeve to enable inclusive and accessible football for everyone in Tewkesbury Borough.

“Our current pitch at Kayte Lane is regularly blighted by drainage issues and is generally unplayable for a large part of the winter, preventing us for using it for youth football and wider community activities. The new facilities will ensure that football activities can take place from 9am to 10pm seven days a week, benefiting not only our club but also teams and organisations within the wider community. We cannot thank Tewkesbury Borough Council enough for their kind support for this life-changing project.”