FOOTBALL facilities in Blacon and Hoole could see widespread regeneration after councillors approved funding bids to the Football Foundation.

The bids are a key element of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s desire to launch a ‘Football Investment Programme’ of ‘priority projects’.

Grant funding is being sought to deliver a £1.5 million project of a new 3G pitch and changing rooms in Blacon, and a separate £500,000 scheme on changing facilities at Coronation Fields, Hoole.

Jim Green, Chester FC Community Trust chief executive, told the council cabinet: “We have got a passionate belief in sports ability to change lives. For the best part of a decade, we have held the aspiration to develop a community sports hub in Chester.

“Blacon sports hub will transform an under-used site into one of the leading football centres in the region. There will be opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to access and enjoy the facilities.”

Mr Green’s organisation is supplying £200,000 to the King George V Sports Hub, with £365,000 coming from CWaC itself.

The community trust will enter into a 25-year lease with the council when the project is completed.

Avenue Services will provide another £100,000, leaving the remainder to be covered by a £750,000 Football Foundation grant and an extra £85,000 ‘from a variety of smaller funding grants depending on final costs’.

The Coronation Fields project will use a planned £170,000 Football Foundation grant, and £330,000 coming from CWaC.

Despite the news that CWaC is backing attempts to fully fund the projects, the proposals were not without concerns.

At the council’s planning meeting on Tuesday October 13, members only just gave permission to the Coronation Fields project.

Worries were raised over the parking provision and lack of greenery included in the plans.

Five members voted for, four against, with one abstention.