Cllr Anthony Burns, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage
Cllr Anthony Burns, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage
King George V (KGV) playing fields in Haydock is undergoing a makeover which will see a number of improvements introduced to help boost sports participation in children and young people.

KGV edit.jpg

Funded by councillor improvement fund (CIF) money with a contribution by developer, Bericote, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021, key features of the £278,000 scheme include:

  • The repositioning of sports pitches to allow both rugby and football clubs to achieve their development plans
  • Spectator fencing installed around rugby and football pitches to reduce the impact of dog fouling and inappropriate use of playing pitches
  • Upgraded children’s play area to encourage an active lifestyle

Part of the project also includes enhancing the overall appearance of the playing fields by opening views across King George V which the council has already completed through tree and shrubs improvement works – with work also carried out on the pavilion which has so far seen:

  • internal decoration undertaken in the showers and toilets
  • external lighting upgraded
  • Vinyl flooring laid in all seven changing rooms, as well as physio room and corridors

Meanwhile, at a planning committee meeting this week, permission was granted to install a three-metre-wide footpath with timber edging to encourage activities such as walking and cycling.

Haydock Labour Cllr Martin Bond says: “I warmly welcome the decision of the planning committee to unanimously approve the plans to improve KGV. Green space and sporting provision in Haydock will be enhanced by the plans. I hope it provides a platform for our famous sporting clubs to thrive and expand.”

Cllr Anthony Burns says: “I was delighted to support this application and move for approval at the planning meeting. The plans are vital to the improvement of King George V playing fields in Haydock.

These improvements will help to improve facilities for both our Football and Rugby clubs, helping them to grow, play and train in better facilities.

We want to support the clubs ambitions, to get more people in Haydock active and to raise aspirations of our young people. They will see facilities that they will want to play in, and ambitious clubs that they will want to join.

ASB has been a constant issue on the playing fields, and that’s why the inclusion of CCTV is of vital importance to act as a deterrent and to use if necessary as proof to prosecute those who continue to ruin things for others. I know many of the residents welcome this, especially the residents close by.

I’m also pleased to see that the trim trail has been removed from the plans. Although it is an important part of the new improvements, it is important that residents are listened too. It would be great to see this included in a more suitable location not directly behind houses.

I look forward to seeing the improvements take place and delighted that both Haydock Rugby League Club and Haydock FC will now begin to get the facilities that they deserve.”

Commenting on how much a difference the development will make to their club, John Evans from Haydock Warriors ARLFC, said: “I would like to express our gratitude to our local ward councillors for the continuous efforts in making progress with the KGV development project given the many obstacles and time-consuming challenges including the huge impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Once we were able to return (to rugby league) so did our committee members and the KGV development working group within our club. The injection of all contributors has been a great investment to our sport and the community of Haydock. It’s so satisfying to see a steady improvement to a wider scale of King George V playing fields. All the work and investment can only make huge steps towards the much needed growth in sports and leisure within Haydock, especially our wonderful sport of rugby which is the heart beat of this borough.

“We as a club take a huge amount of pride working in partnership with the local council to make a difference for our community. Furthermore we would look to develop partnerships with all the surrounding schools, welcoming all ages – male and female.”

Geoff Bate from Haydock FC said: “On behalf of the football club it’s great news to see things progressing. The fencing off of the pitches will be a great help to protect them from vandalism caused by motorbikes and hopefully we will be able to improve the playing surface too.”  

Work is expected to take place over the next six-months.

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