Youth football in Wellingborough has been given a boost after a local sports club officially opened their new grass youth pitches.
Wellingborough Old Grammarians in Sywell Road teamed up with the Football Foundation to build the £100,000 pitches, which are built for small-side games, after receiving a £75,000 grant.
Opening the pitches with Mayor Barry Graves on Saturday September 5 was former Premier League referee Brian Hill, himself a former club member.
And he believes the new pitches are the way forward for the youth of today.
He said: “As a former referee, I know the great importance that good grassroots facilities have on the national game.
“Having modern, weather-proof pitches for people to play on is vital for the development and sustainability of sites like this one, so thanks must go to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for its generous grant.
“I have used the facilities here countless times over the years and the improvements made to the grounds will dramatically increase the experience of playing our national game for everyone.”
MP for Corby and East Northants Tom Pursglove, who plays cricket for the club, added: “As an active member of Wellingborough Old Grammarians, I am overjoyed that funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled pitch improvements to be made.
“I have very fond memories of playing sport here and this money will only go to improve my own, and others’ experience of playing football.
“The Football Foundation is ensuring that the grass roots game continues to grow at all levels, by improving sites like this.
“The funding given here will have a significant impact on sport in Wellingborough and North Northamptonshire and these new pitches will be used extensively by all members of the association and the community.”
The Football Foundation has given 170 grants worth £7.4 million across Northamptonshire.
Chairman of the Old Grammarians sports field committee John Billing said: “This new area will be a huge boost to the youth football section and will allow them to address the problem of the 9x9 facilities.
“Even with 28 acres of developed grassland, it was difficult to find a suitable area to play the 9x9 format without encroaching on areas used by adults or other sports but this project will give them their own high quality area.”