Improvements to outdoor sports facilities in Wealden recommended by Cabinet

Funding towards a new 3G pitch and upgrading an existing hockey pitch has taken a step further following a decision made at a Wealden District Council Cabinet committee meeting this week.


The committee has agreed to provide financial support for the new pitch at Beacon Academy in Crowborough as well as improving the existing hockey pitch. Both will be available for use by the community. That decision is expected to be ratified by a meeting of the Full Council in May.


Research showed there is a need for more 3G Artificial Grass Pitches across the Wealden district and assessed the hockey pitch as being in a ‘poor’ condition and suggested it is nearing its ‘end of life’. The pitch was installed in 1999.


There are only two full sized community-use hockey pitches used for competitive matches in the district – one at Beacon Academy and the other at Hailsham Community College.


To improve sports facilities and protect the future of hockey in Crowborough, the council agreed to support the funding of the new pitch and improvements partially through Section 106 funding – money paid by developers, in this case from the Rockington Nursery development, for community infrastructure projects.


Councillor Philip Lunn, Wealden’s portfolio holder for Leisure, said, “By working in partnership with Beacon Academy, the council can improve and protect the existing hockey pitch, safeguard the future of hockey in the district, and ensure these facilities remain available for both the schools and public use for generations to come.


“Funding towards a 3G football pitch will also help to reduce the deficit of this type of facility in the north of the district, provide further community facilities and opportunities for other activities to be delivered such as walking football, hockey and netball providing for delivering services to wider groups including people with a disability or long-term health condition, girls, and women, older populations, and those on low incomes.”