Sales pitch to fund the Leisure Centre

Sales pitch: the area of Tilling Drive football pitches which is up for sale. Image courtesy of Millar Sandy.

You could say it’s a case of giving with one hand and taking with the other: Stafford Borough Council are selling part of the Tilling Drive football pitches to help fund leisure facilities in the town.

The 1.35 acre (0.55 hectare) site comprises just under one third of the pitches and adjoins the A34. Marketed through property specialists Millar Sandy, the land is described as “suitable for housing …or possibly retail”.

The Borough Council says all the money from the sale will be ring fenced for investing in new facilities for Westbridge Park as well as making improvements to the changing facilities and remaining football pitches on Tilling Drive.

The council has recently consulted residents, organisations and businesses on what they want to see on Westbridge Park as part of a near £10 million investment in the new leisure centre, which is due to open in spring 2019.

Proposals put forward for the park include a multi use games area, a skate park and new play equipment.

Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Planning, said:

“By selling part of the land we will be able to invest in new facilities for Westbridge Park as well as making improvements to the changing facilities and football pitch on Tilling Drive.”

But Walton Councillor Jill Hood is disappointed. She said:

“I have very mixed feelings. The prospect of turning the Tilling Drive area into an upmarket facility is quite exciting, but it’s sad that it comes at a price of selling a piece of land.” “We’ve been assured right from the beginning by the Borough Council that they have the money to provide new leisure facilities, yet it’s quite obvious that they don’t as they are selling land to deliver what they’ve promised.”