Letter: Look what can be done - Wainfleet Playing Field development could learn a lot

Letters
Letters

As a regular reader of the Skegness Standard I have been following the proposals for the new sporting facilities to be sited on the Wainfleet Road Playing fields site.

It was always a highlight for me as a young footballer to play on the Burgh Road ground even entertaining sides from as far a field as Canada, however my career in teaching led me to Kent and a close link with Maidstone United.

They experienced a development of their original ground after a number of years ground-sharing around the county until finally securing a site to build their new stadium and a 3G pitch (no grass pitch in sight) - fully supported by the FA - playing the first FA Cup game on a 3G surface with clubhouse and facilities to run an academy for local talented aspiring young players.

With floodlight facilities this enables all the youth teams, ladies, disability teams and a first team to play their respective fixtures.

The academy train and use the facilities during the week days and the ground is a hive of activity during school holidays when coaching courses operate.

The advantage is the pitch properly maintained provides the maximum usage for the whole community it can be used everyday till 10pm.

These pitches are now also used for rugby and in Kent are definitely the way forward, the numbers able to use the ground,the clubhouse,bar and catering facilities makes it a much more sensible business option.

First team fixtures can always take place at home ensuring a regular income and revenue from gate receipts.

Maidstone United have forged close links with the local schools hosting the district finals and staging a range of county schools matches.

It is the way forward and I look forward to seeing sport played in Skegness on a new state-of-the-art facility that will be enjoyed by the whole community and will make it a focal point for the town. You could do a lot worse than look at the Maidstone blueprint.

John Coles

Kent Schools FA chairman, former Skegness Grammar School pupil