Pitches may be replaced with ‘3G turf’

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The third generation football turf which could replace two pitches. © The FA/Third Generation Football Turf Guidance

The third generation football turf which could replace two pitches. © The FA/Third Generation Football Turf Guidance

Liverpool City Council will this week consider plans to accept funding for a £568,000 project to create two state- of-the-art artificial football pitches in the north and south of the city.

The so-called third generation (3G) football pitches would replace the current synthetic surfaces at Liverpool Soccer Centre in Walton and the Liverpool Aquatics Centre in Wavertree.

The council capped their spending on this project at £80,000 but have been offered a  funding grant for the rest of the £568,704 needed to refurbish the facilities by The Football Foundation.

Labour councillor Wendy Simon, the Culture and Tourism cabinet member, has recommended that the funding be accepted, saying:  “The existing synthetic pitch at the Soccer Centre has a sand-filled carpet which is over 10 years old and is in need of urgent replacement.

“This facility is also the only full-sized synthetic pitch operated by the Council and is not ideally suited to multiple small-sided football games.”

The basic make-up of the latest generation of artificial turf is a blend of grass-like fibres attached to a special backing with a mix of sand or rubber brushed in. The FA claims: “This construction has proven to be the most favourable for football to date.”

Simon said the plans are in support of Mayor Joe Anderson’s plans for the city , adding: “The recommended action will support the Mayor’s pledge to make the city ‘Greener, Cleaner and Healthier’ by enabling local residents and football teams to find a physical activity that they can enjoy throughout their lifetime.”

The new football facilities will give the council the ability to generate revenue back from the majority-funded project. This supports the introduction of a charging policy in the city, which will see individuals and teams charged to use some football and leisure facilities in Liverpool, due to cuts in subsidisation from the council.

Council officers have negotiated that any additional revenue created from the use of the 3G football pitches will be re-invested in football development opportunities across the city.

About Grace Lindsey, JMU Journalism