13 Aug 2006
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£750k plan to 'revitalise' Lincoln sports club is unveiled
|Posted: 10th December 2011
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An ambitious £750,000 plan to "revitalise" a Lincoln sports club has been unveiled.
A state-of-the-art synthetic hockey pitch complete with floodlights, a refurbished clubhouse and extended car park are to be built at Lindum Sports Association in St Giles Avenue.
Work at the club, which has 700 members, is due to begin in April.
Its changing rooms will undergo a revamp with new facilities for women, while there will also be a new seated area for spectators.
The City of Lincoln Council granted planning permission for the scheme in September last year.
Association chairman David Dawson said: "This is brilliant news for the sporting community in Lincoln. It is absolutely going to revitalise the sporting scene.
"Both myself and vice-chairman Jerry Newlove are passionate about this sporting patch because our dads were the people who set up Lindum Sports Association in 1947.
"The area is very close to my heart for that reason and we are all excited about the project."
Between them, Lonsdale Trust and England Hockey have already pledged £317,000 to the project.
The city council has given the project its full backing despite Steve Bird, head of community, leisure and sport services, this week conceding that there would be no funds available.
After applying to the Hockey Foundation and Sport England, Mr Dawson remains confident the rest of the cash will be found in time to start work in April.
The biggest beneficiary of the plans will be Lincoln Hockey Club which will make an eagerly-anticipated return to their former home. The club, which currently host fixtures at Yarborough Leisure Centre, last played at Lindum in 1989.
"The aim is to have an unbelievable hockey facility for the whole of Lincolnshire," continued Mr Dawson. "It will be the best hockey pitch in the county, without a doubt. This is why we didn't want to make it a multi-purpose surface.
"Lincoln Minster School use our facilities all the time and with a hockey pitch coming in there will be 250 boys playing the sport who are currently not doing so."
The plans rely heavily on the speed Lincoln Rugby Club departs the premises.
The Red and Greens, who first started playing at Lindum in 1928, are looking forward to a brand new era themselves and hope to be hosting Midlands Division Three East clashes from their new home at Lodge Farm in Nettleham by the start of their next campaign.
Work on the 35-acre plot of land was set to start this month but that has been delayed until the beginning of March when the first seeds of grass will be sewn. It is hoped that four adult and seven junior pitches will be ready for action by September next year.
"This is great news for the sporting community and the city of Lincoln as a whole," said club coach Martin Steele. "The cricket club will benefit, the hockey club want to return to Lindum and will benefit and so will we in a brand new home.
"It is a win, win situation."
The plans, designed by Muga UK, show one full size and one mini rugby pitch will remain, while there will also be space for a mini football pitch.
It is believed the new facilities will see the association's membership rise to more than 900 as a result of the hockey club's return.
"I would not be telling the truth if I said the rugby club leaving would not be digging a big hole for us financially," added Mr Dawson, who has been chairman for two years.
"They pay rent and they certainly add a great deal to our income through the bar. But I firmly believe the introduction of the hockey club will match that and even go further - simply because it is a facility that can be used during all seasons."
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