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Work starts on artificial pitch at Magnus Church of England Academy, home of Newark Hockey Club

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Work has started on the refurbishment of the artificial turf hockey pitch at Magnus Church of England Academy, which will secure Newark Hockey Club’s long-term future at the site.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is providing the initial funding to upgrade the pitch, which will be paid back by Magnus from the leasing fees through a community use agreement.

In addition to the pitch upgrade, the council will carry out further improvements to make it one of the best hockey pitches in the East Midlands.

Work starts of artificial hockey pitches at Magnus Church of England Academy, Newark. (57317455)
Work starts of artificial hockey pitches at Magnus Church of England Academy, Newark. (57317455)

The old artificial turf surface, installed in 2001, and its underlying shock pad will be replaced, and new LED lighting will be installed to the existing lighting columns.

“We are delighted to see the pitch refurbished and thank the school and council for their positive outlooks in making this happen,” said Arran Coggan, chairman of Newark Hockey Club.

“Being over 15 years old the current pitch can be detrimental to safe hockey.

“Over 180 players from five to 60-plus years old play hockey weekly throughout the year and a new pitch will enable to us to provide a safe and secure home for everyone.”

Additional grant funding opportunities are being explored by the council and Newark Hockey Club for support towards the cost of replacing the existing goals, and the provision of new dug outs for the teams.

As well as the council financing the project it will also take a lead in the operational management of the pitch by agreement with Magnus through its leisure management company Active4Today for 15 years, and bookings for use can be made through its existing online booking system.

The refurbishment is one of the council’s initiatives aimed to contribute towards its community plan objective of improving the health and well-being of residents, with the intention for the improved pitch to encourage greater participation in sport and recreational activities within the community — particularly hockey and football.

Council leader David Lloyd said: “Refurbishments to the Newark Hockey Club pitch at Magnus will see it become one of the best in the East Midlands, attracting players and supporters from all over the area.”

Anna Martin, Magnus executive head, said: “We are thrilled to have secured a great investment for our academy and students. The partnership working with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark Hockey and Active4Today has enabled us to secure an asset for the whole community.”

Andy Carolan, managing director of Active4Today, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Magnus to ensure the new facility will be well utilised by the sporting community of Newark and contribute to the collective challenge of getting more people more active more often.”

Work is likely to be completed towards the end of July in good time for the start of the new hockey season in September.

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