£1.4 million bids for youth sport

YOUNG footballers in St Neots and St Ives are set to benefit from investment of £1.4million in new facilities at two sports centres. Huntingdonshire District Council s cabinet is to be asked tomorrow (Thursday) to contribute £210,000 towards the cost, wit

YOUNG footballers in St Neots and St Ives are set to benefit from investment of £1.4million in new facilities at two sports centres.

Huntingdonshire District Council's cabinet is to be asked tomorrow (Thursday) to contribute £210,000 towards the cost, with more than £500,000 coming from planning gain payments by developers of 300 new homes in Houghton Road, St Ives.

HDC hopes the rest of the bill will be picked up by the Football Foundation, a partnership funded by the FA Premier League, the FA and the Government - the UK's largest sports charity.

Hundreds of youngsters would benefit from the two schemes -additional changing and showering facilities and a refreshment meeting area at Priory Park, St Neots, and an extension to the Ivo Outdoor Centre in St Ives.


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In spite of the foundation's original estimate of £300,000, both of the schemes are now expected to cost nearly twice as much, at £550,000, with a further £330,000 needed at St Ives for car parking, a cycle path, store and lighting as a result of the housing developments.

HDC leisure centre co-ordinator Simon Bell said the original estimate was a ball-park figure for such facilities and the price hike was the result of the need to use better building materials.

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The £714,000 bids to the Football Foundation - representing 56 per cent of the total cost - are likely to be decided in around six months' time.

"We remain optimistic," Mr Bell told The Hunts Post. "But the projects will not go ahead without the additional funding from the foundation."

INFORMATION: More than 500 boys and girls play football at each venue every week.

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