Newtown Football Club have this afternoon announced that they will be converting their Latham Park stadium pitch to a 3G synthetic surface over the summer, with significant investment from the Football Association of Wales.
The FAW will be investing almost £333,000 into a total project cost of £440,000 through its Project 3G investment programme which is funded through the UEFA Hat-Trick programme.
The announcement was made at Newtown Football Club at 1pm this afternoon in advance of their Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League match versus Rhyl.
FAW President Trefor Lloyd Hughes made the announcement and said; “This is excellent news for Newtown Football Club, the town and indeed for Powys. The 3G development will be used in order to improve playing surface standards and to offer a focal point for the wider community.
“This development will further enhance the excellent facilities at Latham Park with the potential for year-round use; it will help develop a hub for community activity; stimulate collaboration with local partners and other users; and deliver wider economic regeneration, social inclusion and health benefits for the community.
The 3G development will be used in order to improve playing surface standards and to offer a focal point for the wider community.
Newtown Chairman Elwyn Preece said, “The development of Latham Park provides excellent opportunities for participation in sport for the community. As well as being an excellent facility for the Town, we aim to employ staff to run the management of the pitch as well as to recruit a Business Manager for the Club as a whole”.
Club Secretary, Owen Durbridge added, “We want to extend the schools and community programme we have been running for the past year and will be inviting schools to come to use the facility during the day when they will also have the option to have coached sessions. The new surface will suit our First Team as well and the problems of the past few weeks, with its atrocious weather, will be a thing of the past for us.”
Welsh Football Trust Chief Executive, Neil Ward added; "the development of a national network of artificial surfaces is vital to supporting the future growth of the game and ensuring that all sections of the community have the opportunity to participate on a regular basis. It is great news for Newtown AFC that it is amongst the first clubs to receive funding support from the FAW Project 3G Programme and I look forward to seeing the new facility built and the increased community football activity it will deliver."
Sport Wales will invest its maximum development grant of £50,000 in the facility. Regional Manager James Owens commented:
“This project shows all the signs of building on the club’s status as a thriving part of the community.
“We are particularly excited by the goals of increasing participation from hundreds to thousands of players and the plans to boost the numbers of women and girls, people with a disability and those from deprived backgrounds playing the game.
“We’re confident the strength of the partnership approach being taken in this project, with such a committed workforce, provides the drive to make it a long term success.”