August 15, 2014 | Community News
Young footballers in a South Yorkshire community will be spending more time on the pitch this season after a four figure grant from a renewable energy firm helped to pay for a new drainage system to be installed on the field where they play. Treeton Parish Council has installed a herringbone drainage system on a piece of land in the village that is used for training sessions and matches by local junior football teams, which has up until now regularly been put out of use through the season through its inability to cope with the worst of the winter weather.
A £3,000 grant from Banks Renewables, which was drawn from the community benefits fund linked to Banks’ nearby Penny Hill Wind Farm, was used to fund the majority of the work.
With the drainage system now in place, and additional maintenance work being carried out over the summer, the parish council is now expecting the field to be available for use for a far greater proportion of the new football season. Chris Brown, clerk to Treeton Parish Council, says: “Our football pitch gets an awful lot of use, with training sessions happening through the week and at least a couple of matches played on each day at weekends.
“Up until now, there hasn’t been any kind of drainage system in place, meaning that the impact of any rain or snow has been greatly magnified and the pitch has often been rendered totally unusable for weeks at a time, which is very frustrating for all the teams that just want to play.
“Funding this drainage work ourselves would have meant raising the precept that everyone in the village pays to the council, which wasn’t really an option for us, so the generous funding that Banks Renewables has provided has been a real godsend.
“All the work has been finalised and the pitch is looking in great condition, so we’re very hopeful that we’ll see more football taking place far more often this season, whatever the winter decides to send our way.” The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund will provide over £500,000 of community funding over the 25-year lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.
The fund is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and aims to make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in these areas.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Groups, adds: “Community sports facilities like Treeton’s are becoming both increasingly costly to maintain and difficult for junior sports teams to access, so we hope that the work that’s now been carried out will enable the local young footballers that use it to play many more fixtures on time over the coming winter and beyond.”
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Penny Hill Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 for further information.