Hatfield has been chosen as the home for a new Hertfordshire FA community football hub.

Hatfield Town Council has reached a provisional agreement with Hertfordshire FA to establish the hub at Birchwood, with the new facility set to provide a high quality playing surface for year-round use, as well as acting as an education and training centre.

The new proposal seeks to build on the £1 million investment proposals approved by Hatfield Community Sport Fund Board in October 2023, and the revised plans are still subject to final approval by the board and a meeting of the full town council.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: What the community football hub at Birchwood could look like.What the community football hub at Birchwood could look like. (Image: McArdle Sports Tech Ltd)

"The demand for football facilities continues to rise as more and more people from across the community are inspired to both take up the game and continue playing into their later years," said Cllr Larry Crofton, leader of Hatfield Town Council.

"With Hertfordshire FA having a base here in Hatfield, a wide range of people from across from the local area will benefit from access to top quality facilities right on their doorstep."

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Karl Lingham, chief executive of Hertfordshire FA, added: "The site has got excellent transport links, with easy access to the A1(M), along with the train station and a number of cycle and walking routes close by.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: There are hopes the facility will encourage more football participation in Hatfield.There are hopes the facility will encourage more football participation in Hatfield. (Image: McArdle Sports Tech Ltd)

This accessibility means it can draw users from a wide area, making it an ideal place to focus football activity that benefits all sections of the community, aligning perfectly with our goals of further increasing participation among women, girls and participants with a disability."

Cllr Crofton and Mr Lingham were also keen to stress that the facilities will not be exclusively for elite sport people, and will instead be used to encourage participation across all levels.

"Hertfordshire FA and Hatfield Town Council are committed to ensuring the facilities are as inclusive as possible," they said.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Cllr Larry Crofton.Cllr Larry Crofton. (Image: Hatfield Town Council)

"Birchwood is a community asset and will remain so, with prices and access structured to encourage community use and deliver increased participation at all levels.

"Hertfordshire FA’s commitment to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to get involved in the game, along with their experience in running a similar facility in Letchworth will help ensure that the proposed new 3G facility provides maximum benefit to those in the local area, hosting a diverse range of users for recreational football, training and competitive matches."

Welwyn Hatfield Times: What do you make of the plans?What do you make of the plans? (Image: McArdle Sports Tech Ltd)