PLANS to bring a state of the art AstroTurf football pitch to Ardrossan are one step closer.

It comes after the Ardrossan Community Sports Hub (ACSH), who are the registered charity behind the project, secured £100,000 of funding towards the £540,000 project.

This funding came from North Ayrshire Council's community investment fund (CIF) after their application was supported by the Three Towns locality partnership

The Herald first reported the plans back in December. They will see the current grass pitch at the football ground on Anderson Terrace replaced with a synthetic 3G surface.

The ACSH hope to have all required funding secured by March of 2024, to enable the installation of the playing surface between May and June of the same year.

And the charity's secretary, Eddie Gibb, has spoke of his delight at securing the first part of funding required for the development.

He said: “The Directors of Ardrossan Community Sports Hub are delighted with the successful grant application from the Community Investment Fund and wish to take this opportunity in thanking local representatives on the locality planning group for their support.

“We would also like to thank the directors of Ardrossan Winton Rovers Football Club and all the players, parents and committee of Ardrossan Winton Rovers Youth Academy who initially drove this project and dared to dream.

“This funding will be the catalyst for future funders to invest, providing a state-of-art playing surface and other facilities at Winton Park, that will be vital in ensuring continued participation in sport for local children and adults, and providing a place where other community activities can take place.

“The Sports Hub have entered into a partnership with the local football club and its youth academy with the aim of creating a centre of excellence at Winton Park to provide the local area with the best facilities possible, everyone involved should be really proud of their part in this project.”

ACSH will now seek capital funding from the likes of Sportscotland and the Scottish FA’s Grassroots Pitch and Facilities Fund to further the project.

The strategic partnership plan also includes the leasing of Winton Park to Ardrossan Community Sports Hub for 25 years by Ardrossan Winton Rovers Ltd.

Though Winton Park will remain the home ground of Ardrossan Winton Rovers (AWR) who will have priority access to the facility for home matches and training.

This move will also benefit the club's youth teams, and soon to be formed ladies first team, who have been forced to travel for matches as no other full-sized 3G facilites are currently offered in Ardrossan, nor even full sized grass pitches.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands commented: “The Community Investment Fund is making a real difference to people’s lives in our communities across North Ayrshire.

"We are proud to be the first – of I’m sure many – funders to support the plans for the Winton Football grounds.

“Thank you to the Three Towns Locality Partnership who have once-again done a fantastic job working on behalf of their local community to secure CIF funding for a vital community asset.

"Having the new astro pitch is going to have such a lasting and positive impact on everyone using the facility as it will give them a place to belong as they fulfil their potential both on and off the football pitch.

“Not only is this fantastic news for the local sports club and their players, it is also a win for the local economy as we once again help to bring an underused asset back into public use to create a sustainable facility which will create jobs and promote a wealth of enjoyable outdoor fitness and wellbeing opportunities for local people.

“We wish Ardrossan Community Sports Hub and Winton Rovers every success in the next stage of their external funding efforts.”

AWR will continue to operate the supporters club, hospitality suite and changing rooms at Winton Park whilst making these available to the wider community.