Wedmore Playing Fields has had a £100,000 boost towards its bid to double in size. The six-figure sum comes from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation. Project manager for the sports development, Pete Brown of Wedmore-based architects Benjamin & Beauchamp, said: “We are delighted to have this generous grant from the Football Foundation which will enable work to begin on this long-awaited development. “We very much hope that more financial support will follow when the local community sees work starting on the development.” The huge leap forward means the playing fields management committee can tell contractors to start work this month on phase one: two extra football pitches, space for a new play area and more car parking. Extra pitches are needed because the Isle of Wedmore Junior Football Club has become hugely popular and now runs 19 teams, making it the largest in Sedgemoor. The new pitches will be seeded this year and be available for use in summer 2014. The 30 extra parking spaces will be welcomed by not only the parents of young footballers but also cricketers and others who use the playing fields – and parents dropping off and collecting children at the adjoining Wedmore First School Academy. Later this year Wedmore Tennis Club plans to build new courts next to the Bowls Club. This will free up its existing courts to become a multi-use games area where footballers can train on the artificial surface under floodlights. Other phases of the development will see new equipment installed on the play area, 64 more parking spaces and new nets for Wedmore Cricket Club. A two-storey new sports pavilion to serve the football teams and other users is planned as the final phase. The project will retain the village field used by Wedmore Harvest Home for the fun fair and by Wedmore Young Farmers’ Club for their annual fireworks displays. Funded by the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation has given grants totalling £420 million to improve grassroots sport since it was launched in 2000. Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Wedmore Playing Fields Management Committee has been extremely energetic and has worked tirelessly in partnership with Somerset County FA to secure this funding, and I am thrilled to see their hard work rewarded with this substantial Football Foundation grant.” Other funding has come from Sport England, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset Playing Fields Association and private donors, with Wedmore Junior Football Club contributing £10,000 raised through a series of events.