New advanced outdoor pitch coming to YMCA Plymouth

The much-loved outdoor space at YMCA Plymouth will be the first pitch in the city to use a new type of hybrid astroturf thanks to a £70k investment from a variety of funders

The outdoor hard court at our centre on Honicknowle Lane, which was originally built in the 1970s, is set to begin an extensive refurbishment thanks to funding support from a range of backers including; The Football Foundation, Plymouth City Council, Devon Community Foundation and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The pitch was famous for hosting youth 5-a-side leagues for a number of decades back when the facility was known as the ‘Kitto Centre.’ It’s hoped the new refurbishment will bring not only football back to the outdoor space, but a range of other sports and activities that are compatible with the advanced astroturf surface, which will be the first and only of its kind in Plymouth.

An example of what the new surface will look like

Former Councillor, Gareth Derrick, who has awarded his Plymouth City Council Community Grant to the project in January said: “I was delighted to offer the YMCA the grant from my Community Grant Scheme to the Multi-Activity Games Area, which I know will be a tremendous asset for both able-bodied people and those with disabilities in the local community.”

Tom Lavis, CEO of YMCA Plymouth said: “We can’t wait to welcome people from our community back to this outdoor facility in its new modern standard. Aside from being suitable for plenty of grass-roots sports such as Netball, Football or Tennis in the evenings, the space will also be used by students from our Discovery College during the day, as well as young people who access our youth clubs in the school holidays.”

The YMCA pitch Circa 1990

Works have already begun with new LED floodlights being fitted during the winter thanks to Devon Community Fund’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) grant. The LED floodlights replaced the old lights which were in fact recycled from the original lights on the Tamar bridge.

The new surface is due to be installed this June, with the space ready shortly after. Further developments are also in the pipeline, including new goal posts, fencing and rebound boards, which are due to be installed before the end of the year.

The high-tech ‘hybrid’ surface will be unique in the city, which is a blend of traditional sand-based surfaces and an ultra-modern 3G material. The main advantage of the new surface, which has been endorsed by Sport England, is its suitability for a whole range of sports.

Click here to find out more about others hire facilities available at YMCA Plymouth.