Club cash boost to secure future

New horizons: Garstang Rugby Union Club's Hudson Park ground off Lancaster Road Garstang
New horizons: Garstang Rugby Union Club's Hudson Park ground off Lancaster Road Garstang

This is the Garstang Rugby Union Club first team playing field earmarked this week for a £48,000 regeneration project.

Garstang Rugby Union Club president Bob Johnston said the lottery grant from Sport England would help guarantee the future security of the 17-year-old club and create a lasting sporting legacy for the Garstang community.

Wyre Borough Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins said the investment was a great credit to the hard work of club members and volunteers. She said: “This is a real shot in the arm for Garstang residents and the Garstang Rugby Union Club deserve great credit for their determination to develop and protect their ground, for all to enjoy for many generations to come, I am sure the sporting fraternity of Garstang will be as delighted as I am.”

MEP Sir Robert Akins, former sports minister and supporter of Garstang Sports and Social Club, said: “This is excellent news for Garstang Rugby Union Football Club and will help to provide long-term facilities for all who enjoy the game.

“I am especially pleased that the future for young players will now be so bright and it is great tribute to the commitment and enthusiasm of all associated with GRUFC.”

It is hoped through the Protecting Playing Fields investment, part of the Places People Play legacy programme following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, sporting clubs across the country can secure land for the benefit of future sport.

Overall, 163 projects have benefited from a total of £7.8million of investment from the three rounds of Protecting Playing Fields funding, with 504 pitches and nearly 1,900 acres protected and improved, and 57.4 acres of land purchased.

Sport England’s chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “Thanks to this investment, generations of young people in Garstang can look forward to playing sport on great sports pitches.

Playing fields are vital sporting resources for local communities so it’s vital that we provide both investment and protection.”

Alison Moore-Gwyn, chief executive of Fields in Trust, added: “This fantastic investment into grassroots facilities in England will help to ensure that neighbourhoods can participate in sporting activities at all levels for years to come.

“We are delighted to see that some of these playing fields will also be protected in perpetuity as part of the permanent legacy that the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will create in tribute to the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games.” The club will now continue with its own fundraising to support the project.