A MOVE to build an £800,000 artificial pitch next to a city leisure centre will go before planners next week.

Worcester City Council is looking to build the new all-weather 3G pitch at Perdiswell Leisure Centre off Bilford Road and the planning committee will meet on October 19 to vote on the plan.

The council’s planning officers have recommended the application should be given the green light.

A plan to build a new 4,400-seat stadium for Worcester City FC alongside a new all-weather 3G pitch was rejected by the council in 2017.

At the moment, the council expects the new pitches to be open by October 2024.

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The pitches would be open from 9am until 10pm every day.

Worcester News: VIEW: The pitch would be built next to Perdiswell Leisure Centre off Bilford Road in Worcester

Councillors agreed to hand over £200,000 earlier this year to help build the facilities, but the majority of the money will come from outside.

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The Football Foundation, which is in charge of handing out government and FA money to grassroots football, is expected to agree to fund 80 per cent of Worcester’s much-needed 3G pitch – but a decision on the funding will not be made until next year at the earliest.

Worcester News: PITCH: An all-weather 3G pitch similar in design to the one that is proposed to be built at

It would come as a surprise if the Football Foundation turned the council down – with the lack of artificial pitches highlighted in a review of Worcester’s sports facilities by the very same body.

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The same ‘top-tier’ projects which the funding body also sees as essential, as is the case with a 3G pitch at Perdiswell, are usually given the appropriate backing.

The idea of artificial pitches at Perdiswell was first revealed publicly more than five years ago when councillors agreed to set aside £25,000 for a study into a potential new facility alongside a new futsal pitch.

The studies were not carried out for another 18 months and even then, a potential new pitch was put completely on the back burner with the council deciding to ‘focus on other developments.’

The move was further delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and with ever-rising costs, councillors were again asked to judge whether building the new football pitches was still possible.

It turned out that both schemes were still viable, in the opinion of the council, but the artificial pitch relied on the bulk of the money being provided by the Football Foundation.