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Footballers can soon enjoy a more comfortable playing experience now that building has started to create accessible changing rooms on a popular sports field in Knutton.


Work is underway by contractor Dawn Building & Groundworks Ltd, who have been appointed by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, to construct disabled-friendly facilities at the Wammy.


The £1.6 million development – part of the Knutton Village Masterplan – features an FA-approved layout including toilets, showers, lockers and a community room.


The majority of the funding is coming from the Borough Council’s £23 million Town Dealallocation for a variety of approved projects in Newcastle including the masterplan which sets out a range of interventions in the village including new housing development and modernised infrastructure for community, business and leisure.


Other financial contributions are from the Council’s capital programme, developers throughplanning agreements and a £250,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.


It’s hoped that the changing rooms, which will be managed by Newcastle Town Football Club who already operate the pitches, will be ready for the 2024/25 season.


Cllr. Craig Skelding, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “We’ve attracted enviable amounts of Government funding, through Newcastle’s Town Deal, to improve the quality of residents’ lives and it’s great to see the various different projects coming to life, including this one which is the first in the Knutton Village Masterplan to enterthe building phase.


“The enhanced facilities are a significant improvement and represent major investment inlocal grassroots sports. They’re designed to overcome some of the perceived barriers to playing football on an open field while developing the Wammy’s role as a hub for the sport. They’ll make such a practical difference to the quality of leisure opportunities in the Knuttonand Cross Heath areas.


“While being a welcome addition to those who already play football at the Wammy, hopefully the availability of changing rooms will expand the use of the pitches, boost local grassroots football further – including girls, ladies and disabled teams – and support otheractivity at the site such as the Park Run.”


Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA and Government – to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country.


“Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities.


“This grant award to the Borough Council towards developing changing facilities at the Wammy is fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to a great place to play.”


Gavin Appleby, chair of Newcastle Town Football Club, added: “It’s good to be a partner in this exciting new project to improve facilities for local clubs and people in the area.”


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