Junior Football League Back Higham’s Sports Hub Plans

Accrington & District Junior Football League (ADJFL) have shown their support along with the Hyndburn Soccer Task Force (HSTF) following a number of meetings with Accrington Stanley Community Trust to discuss the proposals for a new Sports Hub at Higham’s.

Gareth Cross, Secretary of the ADJFL said ‘’ The Accrington & District Junior Football League has been established and running since 1958 with local junior teams playing Football on the playing fields of Hyndburn for over six decades on a Saturday morning. As the years have gone by the league has seen the slow demise and the dwindling numbers of playing fields within Hyndburn.

We were very disappointed that the work carried out on Higham’s playing fields around five years ago has not lived up to expectation, over the past 3 seasons the council have had to call numerous scheduled games off on the field when we have suffered bad wet weather, this was down to the amount of standing water that remains due to for whatever reason, the water not getting down to the newly installed drains.

When we heard that Accrington Stanley Community Trust where considering Higham’s to be their sports hub for the community of Hyndburn, and had plans to further improve and look to address the issues with the bad drainage, we were eager to meet with them and offer our support and backing.

As the newly elected Chairman of the Hyndburn Soccer Task Force along with my vice-chairman Mick Clegg we had the pleasure to meet and talk with Martin for over two hours discussing the proposed plans and raising concerns from the Hyndburn junior football clubs about Highams Playing Fields, so when we met with representatives of these Clubs we could feedback to them our findings and give them the answers to their concerns. It was great to hear they were keen to support this venture with us once we explained the proposed plans with them.

With the ever-decreasing funds from the government to our local councils we can expect over the next several years, to see further deterioration of our beloved playing fields, which in turn will result in the lack of safe football pitches for our children to play on and this will also mean less grassroots sports being played within the borough. It is therefore great news to see the likes of Accrington Stanley’s Community Trust looking to the future of one our nations great sports and taking a vital step to help preserve one of our local playing fields and thus helping keep grassroots sports in the borough alive.

As both a league and soccer task force we are in full agreement and support of this project and are certain it will be a success, and we are Happy to have Accrington Stanley Community trust at the helm‘’

Martin Fearon, Community Trust Manager said ‘’we have held meetings with the ADJFL and HSTF in the last few months to discuss how we can benefit the teams from their leagues and also grassroots football in the community. This has helped us shape the plans for the new sports hub.

Grassroots football will be key for this facility to thrive and we are delighted to have the full support of the local Accrington league and the soccer task force. There are 188 teams that play in the league which equates to 2049 registered children who will have the chance to play football on this facility for their weekend matches and training sessions. ‘’

Accrington Stanley Community Trust are currently working with an architect to design the Sports Hub and will shortly submit a planning application to Hyndburn Borough Council. Once the designs have been confirmed they will be made available for the public to see via our website www.stanleytrust.co.uk