A NEW sports pitch has been opened at Eastbourne Sports Park.
Brighton & Hove Albion star player Tommy Elphick was on hand to open the new 3G sports pitch at the park last week.
The high flying championship footballer joined Councillor Neil Stanley, Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Sports and Leisure, and ex-Seagulls stalwart Gary Hart, to officially open the brand new £180,000 playing surface.
Other guests included representatives from Eastbourne Borough Council, Sussex Downs College, East Sussex County Council and the Football Foundation. The ceremony also included a football coaching clinic run by Albion in the Community for local children.
Councillor Stanley said, “This is a great example of how partnership working and a shared purpose really can reap major community benefits. Last year more than 20,000 people used these facilities and thanks to this superb new surface many thousands more will enjoy using it in the future.”
The pitch is used by Sussex Downs College students, community groups, football teams, groups of friends keen to get fit and other sports clubs.
In addition to funding from Eastbourne Borough Council, Sussex Downs College and East Sussex County Council, the resurfacing project was supported with a grant from the Football Foundation - the nation’s largest sports charity.
Since its launch in 2000, the foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420million towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520million.
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation said, “We are delighted that the local community will have access to these fantastic new facilities and commend all the partners for their hard work in making this happen.”
A spokesman for Sussex Downs College said, “The addition of the new facility at the Sports Park is very welcomed by Sussex Downs College. We are a centre of sporting excellence with our sports courses making full use of the excellent facilities on the campus. We offer a wide range of specialist programmes combining sport coaching with academic studies.”