WORK on a £460,000 artificial grass football pitch has kicked off as sports chiefs strive to create an Olympic legacy.
The third generation surface at Etwall Leisure Centre will provide a world-class base for players of all ages.
Full size and floodlit, the facility will be used by John Port School students and local clubs, providing greater opportunities for residents to have a kickabout.
Contractors have now started work on site, with the project expected to take three months to complete.
John Lemmon, chairman of the housing and community services committee at South Derbyshire District Council, said: “This is excellent news for the area and we are delighted to be turning our vision into reality.
“It is essential communities are able to access facilities where they can be safe and enjoy quality coaching. Playing sport can teach people – especially youngsters – essential life skills such as communication and teamwork.
“These amenities are for everyone to enjoy, irrespective of the level they play. However, for a talented few, they may well be where the next generation of elite players learn their trade.”
The project has been made possible thanks to a £238,000 grant by the Football Foundation, with the balance raised by John Port School and the council.
Barrie Whyman, the school’s chairman of governors, said: “John Port School is pleased to be working in partnership with the council and foundation to provide this excellent facility, which is much needed in this area.
“It will complement the fitness, leisure, recreation and swimming provision which is already located on the school campus and will be of enormous benefit to our students and to the local and wider community.”
Thousands are expected to use the facility each week, including Hilton Harriers Football Club.
Secretary Maxine Harlow said: “This is a welcome boost to grassroots football and will provide a high-quality training destination for young and older players.”