“FOOTBALL’S coming home” was the message from Droitwich Spa after being granted £1million by Wychavon District Council.

The substantial sum will go towards the creation of a 3G pitch at the town football club’s home on King George's Playing Fields.

Work is expected to start in May 2020 meaning the Saltmen could be back playing in the town by the start of the 2020-21 season.

Spa have been sharing with Stourport Swifts at Walshes Meadow for the past two seasons as the playing fields do not meet the entry requirements for the level above West Midlands League Division One.

But with the financial support of the council Spa will be able to push ahead with the redevelopment before returning home next year.

Councillors unanimously agreed to use funding connected to planning agreements for new homes, which is also known as Section 106 money, to invest in the project at an executive meeting on Wednesday.

Officers are working with Droitwich Spa Community Football Club — an umbrella not-for-profit company with representatives from the town’s main clubs — to look at funding options to develop a stadium pitch and stadia alongside the 3G proposals.

This would include a turnstile and small stand and allow both the men’s and women’s teams to play home games in Droitwich.

Once completed it would also support the development of boys’ and girls’ football at a junior level while there is a desire to refurb or rebuild the changing rooms and pavilion.

A club statement read: “Football’s coming home to Droitwich Spa.

“It can now be confirmed that Droitwich Spa Football Club can return home to the town's first ever stadia pitch following unanimous support at a Wychavon council public meeting.

“This marks a key milestone in the development of football for all ages and gender in the town.

“Everybody at the club is obviously delighted with the news which falls in line with the community club’s vision and their five-year plan which they have fought hard for.

“The news will enable the team to return home, having had to play their football out of town in Stourport due to the current ground not being suitable for step five football.

“Droitwich Spa FC welcomes the unanimous support of Wychavon District Council and we look forward to working with the council to develop not only the stadia pitch but also the community 3G pitch.

“The club would also like to thank Richard Whittall and the CIC who have worked tirelessly over the last four years.”

The project forms part of the council’s pledge to invest up to £5million in sport and leisure facilities by the end of March 2020.

Councillor Rob Adams, executive board member for community engagement, culture and sport on the council, said: “This is an exciting and game-changing investment in sporting facilities that will inspire more people to get out and get active as well as develop the next generation of sporting talent.”

The King George's pitches are currently leased to Wychavon Leisure who manage them on the council’s behalf.

No one from the football club was available to comment further.