A junior football club says plans to build a new 3G pitch will "revolutionise" sports facilities in the town.

Ramsbottom United Junior Football Club is working with the council to gain approval for a brand new football pitch at the club’s home ground at Top Park playing fields, off Bolton Road.

The proposals include an artificial grass pitch as well as new floodlights and upgrades to existing facilities.

The improvement work has been made possible due to a successful funding application to the Football Foundation, a charity partnership of the FA, Premier League and the UK Government, which supports local clubs.

While the football pitch will be enclosed and primarily used by Ramsbottom JFC, the plans will not affect the wider playing field, the multi-use game area or the play park, which will all remain open and accessible for public use.

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It is hoped that the artificial grass pitch will reduce damage to the remaining natural grass at the park and ensure it is left in a better condition for matches and training.

In September, building work began for a similar 3G pitch at Redbank Playing fields in Radcliffe, which is expected to be complete in June 2024.

Club secretary Matthew Horne says the new facilities will be "fantastic" for the club as it will allow them to accommodate its growing membership. 

He said: “It’s something we’ve been asking for for a number of years now, I’ve been with the club for about 10 to 12 years now and at that time we had about five to six teams and we were able to manage things quite easily.

“Over the last 10 years we have grown and we now have 60 teams with 750 players.

“As you can imagine, it’s put pressure on facilities.”

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He said that while Top Park is Ramsbottom JFC’s main ground, the number of teams the club now supports means players currently have to use other grounds in places such as Bolton and Rawtenstall to accommodate everyone.

Once the new pitch is built, Matthew it says the money formerly used to hiring additional training grounds can be reinvested back into the club.

It will also mean that fewer matches are cancelled due to bad weather damaging the grass.

Matthew added: “It’s about having an inclusive club to allow as many kids in the area to participate in football.

“This new 3G pitch will be fantastic for us as we’ll be able to accommodate all of our teams.

“We’ll be able to guarantee matches every weekend, it will be revolutionary.”