A £5 million scheme to create a sports village on the edge of Sowerby is about to take the next step forward.

District Councillors have endorsed an application for European funding – and have agreed to a phased approach to development.

The Sowerby Sports Village is part of the Gateway scheme which is creating retail, leisure, employment land, care provision and more than 900 new homes.   A masterplan for the village has already been created and the land needed has been transferred into the council’s ownership.  Football and rugby pitches, an all weather pitch, sports pavilion, fitness trail and BMX track are proposed as well as allotments and a youth facility.

However the scheme is reliant on external funding – including a developers’ contribution released once 250 homes are built on the site.  In total that contribution will be £1.5million.

It is also hoped that the bid for £643,000 from the European Regional Development Fund will help fund phase one of the project to be delivered in 2018/19 – land remediation, allotments, fitness trail and landscaping.   It is hoped that further phases will benefit from grants from the Football Foundation, Rugby Union Football and Sport England.

“This scheme is integral to the overall development at Sowerby Gateway and brings with it an exciting – and extensive – array of formal and informal recreation provision,” said Cabinet Member, Councillor Bridget Fortune.

“The council is providing community leadership for the scheme and has brought together a host of organisations to deliver it – once complete we will hand it over to the local community.”

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