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Leisure Opportunities is published fortnightly by Te Leisure Media Company Limited, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ, UK and is distributed in the USA by SPP, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid @ Manchester, PA POSTMASTER Send US address changes to Leisure Opportunities, c/o PO Box 437,Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Te views expressed in print are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher Te Leisure Media Company Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recorded or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright holder. Printed by Warners Midland plc. ©Te Leisure Media Company Limited 2012 ISSN 0952/8210


Sport Artificial pitch consultation to start

A formal consultation pro- cess is to be launched by the Football League (FL) into the use of artificial playing sur- faces for first team matches. The consultation will be

open to governing bodies such as the Premier League and Football Association, as well as range of football stake- holder groups and clubs. Artificial surfaces were

used at four Football League clubs during the 1980s, before a 1989 inquiry banned their use in top flight matches – extended to the top four divisions in 1995. However, governing bodies FIFA and UEFA

QPR was among four clubs to use an artificial surface during the 1980s

have permitted the use of artificial surfaces for more than seven years now as a result of “sig- nificant advances” in pitch technology. Te move has been welcomed by the Sports

and Play Construction Association (SAPCA), which said it will take part in the consultation

and has encouraged its members to do so too. SAPCA chief executive Chris Trickey said: “It is important to remember that synthetic sur- faces have come a long way since the 1980s.” Read more: To read more on SAPCA’s reaction to the

Football League’s planned consultation, see the Leisure Media Blog:

£2.6m Rossendale leisure scheme commences

Kier Construction has started work on a £2.6m worth of improvements to leisure facilities at Marl Pits in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, on behalf of Rossendale Borough Council (RBC). Part of a wider £5.6m local authority invest- ment in local provision, the Marl Pits project

will widen the range of sports on offer at the venue and enhance the swimming pool. Four five-a-side pitches and a 45-station gym

also form part of the work, with floorspace to increase to 1,694sq m (18,234sq ſt). Details:

Deal paves way for Belfast venue revamp

Belfast’s Windsor Park is set to benefit from a major redevel- opment aſter Linfield Football Club (LFC) confirmed a new agreement for its continued use as Northern Ireland’s national football stadium. LFC has been involved in

talks with the Irish Football Association; Sport Northern Ireland; and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the deal paves the way for £110m of funding to be made available for the revamp of the province’s three main venues – including Windsor Park. Te ground will be transformed into an 18,000-seat venue by 2015 and will boast new facilities for players, supporters and staff. LFC chair Jim Kerr said in a statement: “Te successful outcome of this, pending final sign

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

Renovation work will see Windsor Park become an 18,000-seat stadium

off, will now allow local football to have its share of the £110m provided by government. “We know that a brighter future for Linfield

and for football in Northern Ireland will result from this vital development.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2012

image: matt churchill

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