HUNDREDS of families flocked to the opening of a brand new sports and recreation facility in Cheddleton.
The John Pointon Sports and Recreation Facility was officially opened on Sunday, August 11, and families from the village and wider community were invited to help celebrate the occasion.
The multi-million pound facility, which forms part of a wider development including a new access road to the factory and restoration of a stone dwelling called 'Windy Harbour' for the Cheddleton and Wetley Rocks First Responders, has been built on the former Beresford Bus Depot on the A520 Cheadle Road.
Martin Pointon said: "It was great to see so many families sharing what is one of the most exciting events to happen in Cheddleton and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
"Hopefully it will be the start of many years' enjoyment shared by all age groups from the local community and surrounding areas.
"My late father, who sadly passed away in May 2006, truly was an amazing individual; for those lucky enough to have known him as a friend only knew the real JP.
"He was considerate and generous to a fault and as the front of a large local company he always received requests to support various charities, fund-raising efforts and local events and he would always find a reason to support them.
"This marks a major achievement that we are immensely proud of and a legacy for the man who made this possible from humble beginnings.
"Thank you to everyone who has helped to transform this site including the companies and contractors who worked through the worst weather on record to get this done; in particular technical director Barney Williams, who has put his heart and soul into managing this project, pulling out all the stops to finish it on time."
Sheila Pointon, the widow of the late John Pointon, and mother of June, Carl and Martin Pointon officially unveiled the plaque during the opening ceremony.
She added: "This facility is fantastic and the finished article is something that people of all ages can use, from the very young to the old.
"The football pitches especially are amazing, as is the running track, and the whole site is in a safe, secure environment and I'm sure local football clubs will be interested in bringing players here to train.
"John would have been really proud to have seen this, it has exceeded all expectations and particularly the restoring of the stone dwelling for the first responders; that was something John was always very keen to do and it's very special to have that there.
"This is here for the community and I'm sure there will be many families who have eagerly awaited to be able to come and enjoy themselves at their own leisure on the lovely picnic area with sand pit.
"It's worked well in two ways, it's provided a wonderful facility for residents and the wider community, as well as enabling us to improve our access to the factory and it blends in with the surroundings and isn't intrusive."
Cheddleton and Wetley Rocks First Responders Jane Matthews, Sue Alcock, Helen Robinson, Gail Dodd, Debbie Hammond and Kirsty Moult said: "It's wonderful that they have done this for us; it means we can now stay at Windy Harbour for longer, or overnight to provide more cover than we were previously able to, and is a focal point for us as well as providing storage facilities and potential training site for Heart Start courses in the community.
"From the very beginning Pointon's have been there for us if there's been anything we needed from sponsorship, a car, and now this."
Paying tribute to the facility, Cheddleton Parish Council vice chairman councillor Mike Bowen said: "This is the most fantastic facility put into this village, which will help the community in all sorts of ways; helping young people to be occupied and other people keep fit.
"The company deserves a huge amount of praise, gratitude and congratulations from the whole village and area for all they have done; not just the cost, but the thought that's gone into it and everything associated with it really is fantastic.
"It will be used by people from across the district and I'm thrilled we've got it."
THE former bus depot has been in the ownership of the Pointon family for over 20 years.
The 10 acre site remained dormant until approximately eight years ago when initial discussions began to transform the site into a facility that the entire community could enjoy.
The proposal for a sports and recreation facility was the brainchild of the late John Pointon's sons Carl and Martin Pointon.
There then followed numerous discussions and public consultations involving the residents of Cheddleton and Wetley Rocks in order to establish the most appropriate facilities which meet the needs of all generations in the community.
Various sports bodies and community groups have also provided expertise in the design such as the Football Association, Sport England and Staffordshire Moorland Community and Voluntary Services.
Their input has been vital to ensure that the facility being delivered provides a long lasting legacy befitting the remarkable life of John Pointon and also for future generations to come.
Although John Pointon and Sons have financed the construction of the facility, the ownership and management of the site will be managed by a dedicated Charitable Company consisting of local residents and representatives from local sports groups.
The Charitable Company will also receive a substantial donation from John Pointon and Sons which will secure the future of the site during its infancy.
Access to the facility is open for the whole community and the only items that will incur a fee will be the all-weather 3G football pitches and the FA standard full size grass pitch.
The facility includes the following areas :-
•FA Standard grass pitch (100m x 64m)
•2 x 3G all-weather pitches
•Children’s Playground (Age 4 to 9 years)
•Picnic Area (Incl. children’s sand pit)
•Adults Outdoor Fitness Area
•Jogging Track (All-weather)
•Changing Room Facility (4 teams / 2 referees)
•Petanque (Boules) Court
•All of the facilities are set within landscaped areas surrounded with a secure fence and CCTV cameras.