A £243,000 scheme to drain football pitches at Birchall Playing Fields is nearing completion with seeding and surface dressing now taking place.
The improvements, funded by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, have been carried out by County Landscape Development in three phases to accommodate the end of the last football season and this year’s Leek Show.
The project has been delivered on time and on budget but this summer’s heatwave has resulted in the playing surfaces of the pitches not recovering as quickly as planned meaning that they won’t be available for football matches to be played until the end of September.
Councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member for leisure, sport, parks and countryside, at the District Council, said he realised the clubs could be inconvenienced but that every effort was being made to get the pitches ready as soon as possible.
“We’ve invested a substantial amount of money in improving the facilities at Birchall to enable football to played throughout the winter season so it’s ironic that this summer’s warm sunny weather, the longest spell for seven years, has caused these delays at the start of the new season.
“We’re contacting the clubs to let them know the situation and would ask for their patience and understanding as we work to get the pitches open as soon as we can.”