AGP Development

The photograps show the new development (over the road project) being constructed from Oct 2010 when the site was first cleared to the current day with only the tarmac to be laid on the car park (due Feb 2012). Bad weather interupted the work from November 2010 to March 2011 but then the work gathered pace and the AGP (Artificail Grass Pitch) has been in use from Sept 2011. The project had been planned from 2009 and the first hurdles to overcome were planning permission and then funding to make the project happen. The club are indebted to the Martineau family who kindly gifted the land to the Walsham Recreational Ground Trust, a charity that holds the lease of the clubs existing site and a seperate 25 year lease was secured with them. With funding likely from the Football Foundation, Football Association, Mid Suffolk District Council and 106 agreement money (new housing developers have to put money aside for local projects) the applications for funding were actively pursued. Some organisations required very basic details but the Football Foundation application was 3 inches deep and had sections on social deprivation, transport links, club structure and a business plan to name a few. The club also wish to aknowledge the contribution from the Garrard family and pay particular thanks to Bryan who was club secretary for many years and this will be a lasting memory for Bryans brother Paul (Club treasurer) and father Bill a previous Chairman. With everything looking positive 6 companies were invited to tender for the job and this was reduced to 3 when the tenders were recieved. A juggling act ensued as most funders are reluctant to confirm their funding until somebody else shows their hand first and there must be a number of conversations between them asking “what are you doing and if we do x will you do y”. As everything dropped into place the 3 potential contractors visited the site and gave a presentation about themselves and how they would do the job. Spadeoak were awarded the contract and work commenced in Oct 2010. The club has been fortunate to have Doctor Tim Lodge of Agrostis Turf Consultants ( www.agrostis.co.uk )residing in the village and Tim drew up the specification and oversaw the project.

Currently (Feb 2012) the AGP is very well used with many local organisations and teams taking benefit from the all weather surface including our own junior and senior sides. Also using the facility are Walsham Primary School for matches on a Saturday morning and Colchester F. C. and Ipswich Town F. C. for their player development centres, all of these players are between the ages of 8 and 11. Many more mature people are also using it and some may not have done any exercise for quite some time so we may well be on the way to being the healthiest village in Suffolk. The tennis court is in use and players have been spotted on it when the temperature has been below 2 degrees, so that is commitment to your sport. The grass pitches will be used from the start of season 2012-13 and also for the annual junior five a side in June. Goalposts have to be erected and this will give the club 5 grass pitches including the main site. The Car Park is going to be tarmacadam and this will happen in early February.