Swampy field turned community asset

18th January 2016

A run-down community space near Carlisle is being transformed into a vibrant hub for sport.

Thursby field before drainage
Thursby field before drainage

Thursby Sport and Recreation Committee received £3,750 in September 2014 from the Joyce Wilkinson Trust Fund to transform Jubilee Playing Field from swamp into sports ground.

The field is the only facility in the parish for participation in football and recreational play and  flooded regularly due to poor drainage, which led to local sports teams leaving to play elsewhere. The new and improved grass pitches will encourage teams back to the village, offering increased sports opportunities year-round for young people in a rurally-isolated part of north Cumbria.

Heavy drainage work and re-seeding was completed by the end of last summer, with the pitches now in a 12-month phase of ‘growing in’. The field will be ready for use by local sports teams from September this year.

The new field will allow for more sporting opportunities and will be regularly used by Thursby Primary School, Dalston Junior Black Reds FC, Ship Inn FC, and Thursby Nursery & Toddlers Groups.

Thursby playing field after drainage
Thursby playing field after drainage and seeding

Richard Johnston, Thursby Sport and Recreation Committee Member, said: “The drainage work is the first phase of a major development of the site with further plans including improvements to the pavilion and car park, new play area and upgrading of the cycle track. The Thursby Jubilee Playing Fields will be a high quality asset for use by the local community for a range of formal and informal sporting, recreational and social activities, leading to improved health and wellbeing for the residents of the village and surrounding areas.”

The total cost of the project was in excess of £160,000 with major funding provided by Sport England and the FA Facilities Fund.