Farsley Celtic submits plans for new artificial pitch

The Citadel is the home of Farsley Celtic.

Bosses at Farsley Celtic Football Club have submitted plans for what they say will be a ‘world-class’ artificial pitch to replace the existing sub-standard grass playing surface.

The club says the proposals feature the latest in synthetic turf technology, with the highest specification shock pad and drainage facility underneath. The planning application says it will have a FIFA 2* grading and feature bio-degradable cork infill as opposed to the usual rubber crumb found on other artificial pitches.

It’s hoped the installation of a new state of the art artificial pitch will allow the club’s deaf, women’s and numerous youth teams to use the facilities all year round and cement the club’s position as a sports hub at the heart of the community. Farsley Celtic currently runs more than 40 teams for a wide range of age groups.

A design and access statement submitted with the application stated: “Unfortunately many of the facilities at the club are dated and becoming obsolete.

“The most important asset at any club is its pitch. The one at Farsley is over 40 years old and is now becoming a major liability, threatening the club’s existence. The substructure is beginning to collapse due to its age and the amount of use it has had. It no longer meets the stringent National League specifications, and has been labelled as dangerous.”

In a social media post, chairman and owner Paul Barthorpe said the proposals were a ‘significant financial investment’ in the club’s infrastructure.

He said: “This development is essential to ensure the long-term survival of our club, for a number of reasons:

“Firstly, our current pitch is old, it cuts up very badly and despite the tireless efforts our groundsman it is in desperate need of replacing. We have lost significant revenues from games being called off due to poor weather, and the continued risk of injury is always there.

“Secondly, our grassroots, development and academy teams currently don’t get to train or play at the club, which is totally wrong for a community club such as ours. They should be training and playing at our home and learning what we are all about and what representing a true family and community club is all about, and making lifelong memories with our club at the centre of that.

“Thirdly, our deaf team can only play on a synthetic surface between the months of November and February, which again currently means that we can’t be fully inclusive to a number of our teams with special requirements, which is wholly unacceptable. We are also looking to massively grow our pan-disability footballing activities over the next few years and we need a synthetic pitch to be able to do this.

“Fourthly, The cost implication of all of the academy, grassroots, development, deaf and our mens and ladies first teams training and playing away from our home is huge. These monies would be saved and reinvested back into the club to help it develop and grow further.

“So this exciting development is essential to ensure not only the long-term survival of our club, but also to be able to offer a better and safer environment for all of our pitch’s users and to allow us to be more inclusive to those who need the specialist facilities we don’t currently have.”

Leeds City Council is aiming to decide the application by Wednesday, 15 May 2024.

The plans can be viewed in full here.

Farsley Celtic is also preparing separate planning applications to install new LED floodlights at the ground, which is situated off Newlands, and another for a fully integrated digital scoreboard system. There are also plans to install new indoor pitches on the existing pitch behind the sports hall.

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