Progress in council's plan to secure new sports facilities in Scarborough

Councillors have welcomed plans to secure new facilities for Scarborough residents to play football, cricket, hockey, rugby and athletics.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 9:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 9:48 am
The council is hoping to secure new sports facilities in Scarborough. (JPI Media/ Richard Ponter)

The authority’s cabinet supported a new Playing Pitch Strategy on Tuesday July 20, which aims to provide additional sites for sport as well as bringing older facilities back into use.

The strategy, which covers the period up to 2038, has been shaped by Scarborough Council with input from North York Moors National Park, Everyone Active, Sport England, Rugby Football Union, Rugby Football League, England Hockey, the North Riding County FA, the Football Foundation, North Yorkshire Sport, the England & Wales Cricket Board, Yorkshire Cricket Board and England Athletics.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting Cllr Jim Grieve, the portfolio holder for Quality of Life, said: “There has been a huge amount of community consultation that has helped to shape this strategy. There has been a lot of discussion about what is needed in each individual part of the borough.

“The big opportunity that this this strategy gives us is the opportunity to attract external funding to help develop facilities right the way through the borough.

“Without this strategy people would not come in and get on board and it just gives us that that framework that says to people ‘this is what our aspirations are, this is where we are heading with and this is what we are trying to do’ and it helps us to really pull that extra external funding in.

“But what it really does is it gives us this massive opportunity to improve the quality and participation for residents in sporting facilities throughout the borough.”

The strategy considers ways in which current and future demand for new pitch space can be met, not just through providing new facilities but through making better use of existing resources.

Aims include protecting playing fields, supporting schools and colleges to make their pitches available to the community, supporting the voluntary sector to provide new pitches.

Contributions from planning developments would be used to help fund the project.

The strategy will also look to address the disparity between men’s and women’s sport in the borough with fewer than 5% of teams in the Scarborough borough area being registered as female.

The authority will also look into the potential of reinstating the former Oriel Cricket Ground in Scarborough and the strategy supports the provision of a floodlit synthetic athletics track and associated field facilities within Scarborough as the nearest one is currently in Guisborough.

The strategy will no go before the authority’s full council for approval when it meets in September.