The University of St Mark & St John has recently been given a conditional National lottery award of £240,000 towards the creation of a new floodlit 3G rugby and football compliant synthetic grass pitch. The facility will be built adjacent to the new Marjon multi-purpose sports centre and will provide a valuable resource for sports clubs throughout the city to play football, rugby and will assist with the growth of other sports such as Lacrosse in the city. The building of this facility is also another important development for the University in becoming an outstanding indoor and outdoor sporting hub for students and staff and members of public within the region. The investment comes from Sport England’s new Improvement Fund. With three quarters of people citing the quality of the pitch surface and the changing rooms as being important to their sporting experience, the fund will improve these facilities for the benefit of thousands of people. Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “As the research shows people have a better experience of sport when the facilities are good both on and off the pitch. These investments in artificial grass pitches and swimming pool changing rooms will have a big impact on sport in local communities, including Plymouth.” Director of Sport, Stan Cinnamond, who led on the project said ‘We are very grateful to Sport England and in particular Andy Couves (Programme Lead – Improvement Fund) for their support and guidance throughout the bidding process for the award. The new 3G will be another flagship sporting facility for the whole of Plymouth and surrounding area, adding to other new, top quality facilities that have been built over the last few years in the city. The funding bid was very much a team effort and I have to thank in particular Claire Pearce (Head of Business Development) and Jamie Oxley (Lecturer in Coaching Physical Education) for their help and assistance during the application process.’ It is expected that the facility will be completed and ready for use by September 2013.
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