School’s new facility will be pitch perfect

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work on a new all-weather sports pitch got under way at a Monkseaton school this week.

Valley Gardens Middle School is hoping the new facilities will be ready for the start of the summer term this year.

The bill for the floodlit football pitch, to be made available for community use outside school hours, is expected to come to around £237,000.

The third-generation synthetic pitch will also host netball and hockey matches.

Headteacher Michael Homer said: “The pitch will be a great asset to the school, which already has an excellent reputation for sport.

“It has been a major task to put the finance together for the pitch, and I would like to thank the school’s governors and North Tyneside Council for their perseverance and support.

“The governing body’s chairman and vice-chairman, Ian Grayson and Adrian Smith, played leading roles in building up funds by careful management of the school’s budget over a number of years.”

Coun Grayson said: “As a PE teacher myself, I can see the many benefits to the school in having an all-weather pitch available to improve the learning experiences of our children throughout the year.

“I am particularly pleased that we have been able to find extra funds to install floodlighting.

“This will allow us to open the facility in the evenings, weekends and holidays for use by the local community.”

David Lilly, the council’s cabinet member for children, young people and learning, added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the construction of what will be an excellent new facility.”

“Once completed, pupils will be able to enjoy a variety of outdoor sports, no matter what the weather, which can only be of benefit to their health and well-being.

“And it’s great news for members of the local community too as they will be able to take advantage of a fantastic resource on their doorstep.”