Work kicks off on new artificial grass pitch in Barnstaple

Posted on: 20 June 2019

Work on the eagerly awaited Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Tarka Tennis Centre has begun.

North Devon Council is building a new full-size AGP at the site on Seven Brethren, following successful funding bids to The Premier League and FA Facilities Fund and Devon County Council. Funding has also been allocated by North Devon Council using S106 funding*.

The new pitch will be floodlit and will be the only full-sized artificial pitch in North Devon and Torridge licensed with the FA for formal match play. Work should take about 16 weeks to complete, with the pitch opening in September.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “Our new FA-registered pitch will be an excellent facility for local teams to train and continue to play fixtures throughout the year, particularly at times when grass pitches become waterlogged. We’re really pleased to start work and have already received lots of interest from clubs and groups who are looking forward to playing on the new pitch.”

The full pitch surface measures 100m x 64m for 11-a-side games and has the flexibility to be split in half using a movable net, providing space for two nine-a-side teams to play. The pitches can also be halved again to allow four adult 5/6-a-side or youth 7-a-side teams to play. There is also a hard standing area for spectators.

Previously, it was not possible to use both grass pitches behind Tarka Tennis Centre at the same time due to the lack of safe distance between the two. However, the AGP will be located sufficiently away from the remaining grass pitch, allowing both facilities to be used at the same time.

The footpath running adjacent to the Devon County Council Recycling Centre to the Rock Park Iron Bridge is currently fenced off to allow this to be re-aligned around the perimeter of the new AGP, which will be much larger than the grass pitch it has replaced. Walkers and cyclists can use the path along the riverfront behind the Tarka Tennis Centre as an alternative route to Rock Park.

If your group or club is interested in using the AGP when it opens in September, email sports@northdevon.gov.uk to register your interest.

*Section 106 (S106) is money paid to the council by developers as part of the planning conditions of planning applications. The money can only be used for certain things, but is used primarily for public open space projects.

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Posted in: Leisure