EXCITING plans to install an all-weather sports pitch at what will become the new home of Newport Football Club have been submitted to Isle of Wight planners. 

The plans for a 3G pitch have been lodged by Newport FC's owners, South Coast Leisure, as part of their vision to create a new state-of-the-art community sports facility off The Racecourse, near Whippingham.
As well as ensuring the club is able to train and fulfil its fixtures whatever the weather, the new pitch will also help in the aim of creating a sustainable new home for Newport FC, as well as becoming a popular hub for community sporting and fitness activity.

South Coast Leisure say the new 3G pitch, expected to run into six figures to install, will meet all FIFA regulations and specifications. 
Already, the plans have been backed by the Newport FC Supporters Trust and future users, including the Isle of Wight College, who would use the new facility as a training and coaching centre.

South Coast Leisure is keen the new pitch and facilities will encourage women’s and youth football, as well as participation in sport by those with physical, mental and learning challenges, as well as older people.
Pete Westhorpe, secretary of Newport FC Supporters Trust, said: “There are very sound footballing reasons for upgrading to an all-weather pitch, as it will always be available for training and matchday use.
“But if Newport Football Club is to become truly sustainable and to reach its full potential then it needs to form closer links to the community.

"This all-weather facility will enable the club to become a centre of community sporting and fitness use, as a
synthetic pitch is better able to cope with more usage and will be unaffected by periods of adverse weather.”
Paul Buckland, head of sport and fitness at the Isle of Wight College, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the college football academy and staff to help support a community hub for football players of all ages and genders in terms of player development and coaching.
“It will give our learners a firm foundation to develop coaching and employability skills. We look forward to developing a partnership with Newport FC that will allow this to happen.”

The plan for the new pitch has been submitted as a variation to the planning permission already granted for the site, with nearby residents already notified of the proposals in line with South Coast Leisure’s commitment to keeping the local community informed.