Home Community and neighbourhoods Eddie McArdle Playing Fields set for improvement works
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Eddie McArdle Playing Fields set for improvement works

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley Council, in partnership with FC Kirkby, is making further improvements to the Eddie McArdle Playing Fields to enhance its offering as a key community sports facility.

Over the coming weeks, investment into the quality of the playing pitches will ensure that they are ready for the upcoming winter season. The pitches are used for both training and league games by FC Kirkby and other local clubs.

To enhance the playing fields community offering, FC Kirkby, as the resident football club on site, will be responsible for managing their use. This includes ensuring that the local community benefit from the facilities, including sports, community events, activities and educational work.

In order to safeguard the pitches and prevent damage, a perimeter fence will be erected around the northern three playing pitches. The fencing will be similar to the existing fencing around the pavilion and southern playing pitches. The wider playing fields site, including perimeter path and Northwood Forest Hills will remain openly accessible to the public.

The installation of the fence has become necessary to protect the pitches. Consistent significant damage to the pitches has previously caused football matches to be cancelled which has a negative impact on the fields use as a community sporting facility.

Damage has included litter; holes being cut in the pitch for golf practice and dog fouling. The use of scrambler bikes on the pitches has also cut up the surface on a number of occasions.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “Safeguarding the pitches for community sport is vital and unfortunately in the past we have seen local clubs miss out because of anti-social behaviour.

“These improvement works will not only ensure that the local community in Kirkby have good quality pitches to use but also that the potential of Eddie McArdle Playing Fields is maximised for the whole community of Kirkby and surrounding areas.”

If you wish to find out more about the proposed improvements, you can contact Knowsley Council on 0151 443 3682 (sustainability@knowsley.gov.uk).  If you would like to find out more about FC Kirkby, including how to get involved and how to access the facilities at Eddie McArdle Playing Fields, email FcKirkbyOffical@outlook.com.