With demand for Ringwood Town FC already exceeding the club’s capacity, plans are afoot for an expansion plan with public information sessions being held.
For some years Ringwood Town council and the football club have been investigating the possibility of building a third-generation artificial turf pitch (3G ATP) and rebuilding the club-house at Long Lane.
Now AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, Ringwood Town Council and Ringwood Town Football Club have announced a partnership to develop the facilities.
The three organisations are being supported by New Forest District Council, the Football Foundation and Hampshire County FA to help bring the vision into fruition, with an application for planning permission to be submitted soon. The significant investment into the re-development at Long Lane represents an opportunity to develop an excellent sporting and social facility for the town of Ringwood. The site will continue to be the home of Ringwood Town FC and will enable staff and players associated with AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust to be based on site.
A number of community programmes will also be based on site and all in the one location. The phased development will comprise of: a new full size 3G artificial turf pitch (ATP), improvements to existing grass pitches, redeveloping the car park and a new pavilion with changing rooms.
Head of community Steve Cuss said: “This is a hugely exciting and innovative development for the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust. Being able to bring together a number of community programmes at a dedicated site, will ensure that we continue to engage the local community and offer programmes from young to old.” Phil King, chairman of Ringwood Town FC, said: “This is such an important milestone. We are working so closely together with AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, Ringwood Town Council, NFDC and the Football Foundation to deliver facilities fit for the modern age, financially sustainable, the Club and people of Ringwood can be proud of. We’ll have the opportunity to fulfil our aspirations of providing football to all and developing players whether you’re six or 60. We have an existing arrangement with AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust that is fantastic with many of our youngsters able to experience their coaching expertise and improve their own skills. This partnership will help take it to a whole new level.”
Tony Ring, Mayor of Ringwood said: “The Town Council and Ringwood Town Football Club have long cherished an ambition to improve the football facilities in the town. I am delighted that a way has now been found to secure these and that there will soon be capacity for more teams and a greater diversity of provision. This is a complicated project involving numerous organisations working together to a common end but I am convinced that the result will be a clear win for the people of Ringwood.”
Members of the public are welcome to community public information sessions. Drop in events will take place on: Friday 16 July between 10am – 12 noon and Saturday 17 July between 9.30am – 12 noon at Ringwood Town FC, Long Lane, Ringwood, BH24 3BX.
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