Barnstaple's brand new state-of-the-art artificial grass pitch was officially opened on Wednesday 5th February 2020.
Tarka 3G was opened during the Devon Ability Games last week, and Devon's Tilly Robinson was the special guest who cut the ribbon to officially open the facility. Tilly has recently been selected to play for the Team GB Wheelchair Rugby team, and has played at the Devon Ability Games a few years ago. The Devon Ability Games are funded by the National Lottery and involve hundreds of young sports players from across the County who have Special Educational Needs.
The cost of the project was around £775,000, with thanks to the Premier League, The FA, Football Foundation and North Devon Council who worked together to fund the new facility. In recent years, a 3G facility has been seen as the highest priority in the North Devon Playing Pitch Strategy, and the new facility replaces a grass pitch behind Tarka Tennis Centre which used to frequently be waterlogged, causing a lot of games to be postponed.
The project has been in development for a number of years with North Devon Council working with Devon FA and the Football Foundation to develop a sustainable project for the local clubs and leagues in the area. The facility will also work with local partners to create new opportunities for players to play both in a league but recreationally as well.
Chris French, County Development Manager said “This new facility will provide a much needed 11 a side 3G facility for North Devon which was identified as a strategic priority through the North Devon Playing Pitch Strategy. Improving facilities and developing all weather facilities is a high priority for Devon FA and the recent weather is showing the need to develop more 3G facilities across Devon which has been highlighted in our Local Football Facility Plans. We will continue to work North Devon Council and our other Local Authorities to enhance and develop our facility stock.”
The new 3G will be available for clubs to train and play on, and offers 11-a-side, 9-a-side and 7-a-side games on the surface.