The community of Knaresborough has rallied behind the town’s high school, following its appeal to secure grant funding for a new £450,000 3G pitch.
King James’s School has managed to raise £90,000, out of the £100,000 needed to apply for support from the Football Foundation, in order to pay for the project.
While further donations will be needed to cover the remaining amount, the support shown by Knaresborough residents could soon make construction of the floodlit 3G pitch, replacing the all-weather Astroturf pitch on the school grounds, possible.
Justin Waters, Director of Business Service at King James’s School, said that with the help of its partners, Knaresborough Celtic F.C. and Scotton Scorchers J.F.C. and other community groups, the school is nearing its target. A decision on the application by the FF is expected later this year.
He said: “The two Partner Clubs have been instrumental to the application, and we look forward to working with them for decades to come.”
There was also a major show of support from residents in the town in the build-up to Christmas, with the Knaresborough Santa and Reindeer Dash with Christmas Fair held at the school on December, 9.
Donations were raised on the day, which saw Chaloner Hall transformed with craft stalls, Christmas trees and Santas Grotto, along with the grand spectacle of 150 ‘Santas and reindeer’ taking part in a three mile run. Carl Sugden, Head Teacher said: “The school had never seen such an event before in its 400 year history. It was a family day out with lots of festive fun was has by all. We really do appreciate the community support”
The age of the current pitch and the lack of lighting means there is a limit to how frequently the pitch can be used. If it can be built there are also plans to open a school hub over weekends, opening up the facility to the community.
The West Riding Country Football Association has previously highlighted that local teams in the area lack access to a 3G pitch.
Andrew Shuttleworth, Facility and Investment Manager said: “Knaresborough has been highlighted as an area with a significant football playing population,which is not currently able to access 3G Artificial Grass Pitch provision for training and or match play needs. “