New 3G pitch opens in Biggleswade to boost grassroots sport

A state-of-the-art 3G pitch was officially opened at Stratton Upper School

A state-of-the-art 3G pitch was officially opened at Stratton Upper School by its Principal, Sam Farmer and Mayor Mark Foster thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation. 

After netting a £749,000 grant from the Football Foundation, work began on the educational site late in 2023 with the pitch open to users from January 2024. The project was also supported by an additional £10,000 from the Langford and Biggleswade Windfarm Community Fund, £134,306 from Central Bedfordshire Council and partnership funding of £39,425 from The Meridian Trust.  

The official opening event took place on Thursday 1st February with representatives from Bedfordshire FA, Stratton Upper School, Meridian Trust, Central Bedfordshire Council, Football Foundation, Biggleswade Town Council and the two partner clubs, Biggleswade United & Biggleswade FC. Stratton Upper School students demonstrated their skills on the 3G pitch during the daytime opening to showcase the excellent surface that Biggleswade-based football clubs and the local community can now make use of.

The new 3G facility was supported by Castele Consultancy and built by SIS Pitches and replaced a former 11v11 grass pitch that was in poor condition. The site now provides a vital training facility that can be used all year round as well as providing flexibility on the weekend for several youth and adult teams to play affiliated matches. 

The site will be used to support existing teams but also to help grow and develop new provisions across the female and disability pathway. There will also be opportunities for individuals who want to take part in recreational opportunities to improve physical activity levels. Such programmes will be far more accessible due to the 3G facility being delivered and this will enable other initiatives to grow and expand too.

Alan Young, Chief Executive Officer at Bedfordshire FA said:

'The delivery of a full-size pitch in the Biggleswade area has been a top priority for a long time now and I am so pleased it is built and being used by the local clubs. This will reduce the need for local clubs to travel further afield to train and the 3G facility offers match-day usage too.

We are excited to see how football initiatives develop further amongst the local community now that the facility has been provided to enable it to happen. It is well known that providing such facilities in areas where they are needed, correlates with a more diverse football offer to the people in the area and increased participation levels as a result.'

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: 
'The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA and Government – to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country. 
Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities. 

We’re delighted that the local community in Biggleswade will now be able to enjoy all these benefits thanks to the new facilities at Stratton Upper School.'

Sam Farmer, Principal of Stratton Upper School, said:
'We are deeply grateful for the support of the Football Foundation, Langford and Biggleswade Windfarm Community Fund, Central Bedfordshire Council and Meridian Trust for making this dream a reality. 

Our students and local community will benefit greatly from this exciting new facility, and it’s been a delight to see them putting the pitch to good use today. At Stratton Upper School and across Meridian Trust, we are passionate about extending the boundaries of learning and we hope this will enable our students to develop a lifelong love of fitness and inspire their ambitions for the future.'