Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Pictures: New Ilfracombe all-weather pitch opens

PUBLISHED: 17:44 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:04 02 May 2014

North Devon MP Nick Harvey and Ilfracombe Academy headteacher Sharon Marshall with students at the opening of the new pitch.

North Devon MP Nick Harvey and Ilfracombe Academy headteacher Sharon Marshall with students at the opening of the new pitch.

Archant

Ilfracombe Academy celebrates the end of more than two decades of waiting for a state-of-the-art artificial pitch to provide a much needed boost to sporting facilities in the town.

Ilfracombe Youth U11 and U12 teams on the new all weather pitch.Ilfracombe Youth U11 and U12 teams on the new all weather pitch.

ILFRACOMBE Academy has celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art all weather football pitch.

The £300,000 artificial pitch was officially opened on Thursday by North Devon MP Nick Harvey as part of a day of footballing activities to mark its long awaited arrival.

For more than 20 years the school has been trying to get funding for an artificial pitch, and the project was finally made possible in partnership with North Devon Council and Ilfracombe Town Football Club.

Funding was provided by the Football Foundation, Fullabrook Community Interest Company, Ilfracombe Town Council and the academy itself.

Former headteacher Alan Bacon celebrates scoring his penalty.Former headteacher Alan Bacon celebrates scoring his penalty.

The ‘third generation’ rubber crumb surface will offer high class training facilities and an FA standard pitch to under-10s level for not only academy students, but the whole community.

“It’s a fantastic sporting facility for the school and the community, but it also represents what a community can do when it puts its mind to achieving something together,” said headteacher Sharon Marshall.

Speaking at the opening, former head teacher Alan Bacon said it was some 22 years ago when they first approached the authorities such as the FA to help create an artificial pitch, and the result was thanks to a lot of effort from many people and the current head teacher.

Carrying out the opening, Nick Harvey said: “This is a wonderful site, it really does look impressive and after so many years of effort it is a reality.

Nick Harvey steps up to take a penalty.Nick Harvey steps up to take a penalty.

“It has taken some dogged determination to make it a reality, thanks to all those who worked on the project, delivered it and those who have funded it.”

Shane Gooch, under-12s manager for Ilfracombe Youth Football, said the youth section ranged from ages five to 16 but they hoped to capture more members, as people had been travelling to Braunton or Barnstaple because until now there was no all-weather facility in Ilfracombe.

The opening festivities saw the first shot on goal was taken by the youngest Year 7 student, Owen Belgrove, who successfully kicked the ball around guest goalkeeper Richard Slaney from North Devon Council, who has worked closely with the project.

Other shots were taken by students and visitors including Nick Harvey who managed a neat nutmeg.

Year 7 student Owen Belgrove scores the first goal against guest goalkeeper Richard Slaney from NDC.Year 7 student Owen Belgrove scores the first goal against guest goalkeeper Richard Slaney from NDC.

The event concluded with a Sixth Form versus Year 11 charity football match, a hard-fought affair that saw the Sixth win 2-1, with £268 raised for the RNLI.

* For more pictures from yesterday’s opening, CLICK HERE.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 22:00

North and West Devon Superintendent Toby Davies addressed concerns about PCSO reductions at a North Devon Council meeting on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:21

Book your place for the free Red Nose Day bash in Ilfracombe on Friday evening

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Baker Estates hopes to submit a planning application for Bickington’s Oakwell site by late spring

Read more
Yesterday, 16:35

Heritage Lottery Fund bid for new Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon extension is successful

Read more
Yesterday, 15:52

Routine trip to Barnstaple High Street optician led to life-saving surgery in Bristol hospital.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:42

‘Be alert, not alarmed’ is the message coming from police in the wake of the attack in Westminster yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more
Yesterday, 14:32

Council is close to signing agreement for a short term lease with Parkwood Theatres to run both the Queen’s and the Landmark

Read more
Yesterday, 14:29

Jenny Mills is fundraising for the walking challenge in June by carrying out odd-jobs and gardening for neighbours.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:28

Interactive map: Meet the North Devon runners taking part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and pick where you can cheer for them enroute

Read more
Yesterday, 11:49

Open casting for the film, which is helmed by one of the directors behind the Harry Potter series, takes place in Bideford on Saturday, April 1.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications