Barnsley's new £250,000 pitch boost

BARNSLEY Rugby Club will be opening their new state-of-the art floodlit training pitch on Saturday 31st July.

The £250,000 rubber crumb surface is the first to be completed with funding from the Rugby Football Union's Community Club Development Programme, which has awarded �6m to 125 projects in the past 12 months.

The programme is an innovative collaboration between Government - the Department for Culture, Media & Sport - Sport England and the RFU, aimed at improving community club sports facilities.

As well as the 60m x 40m artificial pitch and floodlights, there are rebound boards for 5-a-side football and maintenance equipment.

Barnsley RFC secretary Brian Johnson said: "It's absolutely fantastic and we are really happy. I can't wait to coach the kids on something dry in October rather than a wet sludgy field.

"The facility will be used by the local community and we have already had lots of requests from football teams."

Yorkshire Rugby Union President Mike Brown said: "It is a credit to all at Barnsley Rugby Club that they have been able to develop the facilities at Shaw Lane. It is very encouraging to know there is funding for these projects and it is important to get the message out to rugby and other sports clubs that money is available."

David MacInnes, the county's RFU Council Member, added: "We are very proud of Barnsley. They are a club that have grown and developed and should be applauded."