A DOCUMENT that will help support pitch sports in North Devon has been adopted, in a joint project led by two local councils.

North Devon Council and Torridge District Council have been working with Sport England and the National Governing Bodies for football, rugby union, cricket, hockey and bowls, to develop a 14-year Playing Pitch Strategy.

The document forms part of the councils’ emerging Local Plan and will be used as an evidence base to ensure funding can be drawn down from developers and national funders to improve playing pitch provision in the two districts.

The strategy, which was approved by TDC last month and NDC on Monday, November 6, identifies where pitch sport facilities currently exist, what condition they are in, how well they are used, what problems they face and how they could be improved to ensure they meet local demand and expectation.

The strategy includes a list of priority projects to improve pitches and supporting facilities, including changing rooms and training venues.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture at North Devon Council, Councillor Dick Jones, said: "A lot of work has gone into this strategy and I would like to thank all the local sports clubs and partners who helped us during the consultation.

"The strategy sets out where any new facilities should be provided as our population and demand increases and it also identifies the need to enhance current facilities to attract new users.

"Sport is clearly very important to our local communities and it has significant health and social benefits, this strategy will play an important role in supporting these needs."

Torridge District Council’s Lead Member for Community Culture and Leisure, Councillor Phil Pennington, said: "I am very pleased that the review of leisure and recreation provision in North Devon and Torridge has now been completed. This will be an effective tool in allowing us to plan appropriate development and provision going forward to best meet the needs identified in the study." 

You can read a copy of the strategy on the North Devon Council website: www.northdevon.gov.uk/sports .

Alan Quick