Pitch perfect: Hockey Club makes progress with cash pledge

A fundraising event at Louth Hockey Club last year.
A fundraising event at Louth Hockey Club last year.

Louth Hockey Club has pledged £60,000 towards the funding of a new astro turf pitch for the town and the surrounding area.

The club, which uses the London Road facility as its home, is battling to keep hockey in the town and has agreed the funding in principle to ensure its 150 members have somewhere to train and play.

Club chairwoman Lesley Ward said: “Without a new pitch the club would have little option but to fold.

“Although we aren’t the only group or sport that uses this vital facility, we are determined to make a new pitch a reality.

“We have been fighting for nearly two years to secure support and funding for the pitch, and now hope that the local community will help us as much as it can.

“Each week we have around 50 junior members, aged 6 -13, training and playing with us, and up to 50 senior players involved in league hockey every Saturday. Without a new pitch all this would cease – there is no alternative pitch we could use.”

The existing pitch is 22 years old and in need of replacement - but it is estimated this will cost £200,000.

East Lindsey District Council has also pledged its support for the project, ring fencing £110,000 towards the pitch.

The pitch is operated by leaseholders the Magna Vitae Trust, and the land is owned by Louth Town Council.

Mrs Ward said that the community facility is used by many groups, not just hockey, seven days a week.

Mrs Ward continued: “As a club we have committed to taking a £50,000 interest free loan from ELDC and we have also pledged £10,000 
of our own funds.

“East Lindsey District Council has ringfenced £300,000 to go towards providing a new hockey pitch and a new 3G football pitch - with £110,000 being earmarked for our pitch. However, this sum is dependent on the club securing outside funding.”

Mrs Ward said the club is working closely with ELDC and Magna Vitae to submit an application for funding to the National Hockey Foundation.

She added: “To achieve our goal we need the support, energy and commitment of our members but also the local community to get us 
over this hurdle.”

The club is keen to hear from anyone who can help with financial donations, business sponsorship, gifts which can be auctioned or raffled off, and fundraising ideas. The club is currently bidding to be one of the Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions.

Details can be found on the club’s website at www.louthhockeyclub.co.uk, and on their social media pages.

Mrs Ward concluded: “With your help I feel confident that hockey will continue on the London Road site for the benefit of everyone who is playing hockey at the moment and also future generations.”