Historic Yarmouth sports ground could get new 3G sports pitch

Wellesley football ground in Great Yarmouth, home to what is thought to be the oldest wooden stand i

Wellesley Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Great Yarmouth’s historic sports ground could see the introduction of a new 3G football pitch and its Grade II listed tennis pavilion brought back to life.  

Plans have been lodged with Great Yarmouth Borough Council to introduce a community 3G Football Turf Pitch (FTP) at the Wellesley Recreation Ground. 

The aim of the artificial pitch would be to increase sports activities at the ground and encourage more “grassroots football development” for “young aspiring footballers”. 

If approved, Wellesley's tennis pavilion, which is currently in a state of disrepair, will also be refurbished to create two changing rooms, showers, toilets and a small kitchen. 

In planning documents online, submitted by S&C Slatter, it states: “The proposed community 3G Football Turf Pitch (FTP) will replace an area within the southern part of the Recreation Ground. 

“This site will be transformed into a valued contemporary all-weather sports facility facilitating football activities, training, coaching, education, and skills development, as well as match opportunities. 

“The tennis pavilion at Wellesley Recreation Ground is ideally situated to provide the necessary welfare facilities for community visitors to the proposed Community 3G Football Turf Pitch (FTP)."

Wellesley Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth is set for an upgrade with the addition of an artifici

Wellesley Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth is set for an upgrade with the addition of an artificial pitch area. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

The proposed artificial pitch with 4.5 metre high fencing would replace an existing grassed and multi-use games area as well as a tennis court. 

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It will be located adjacent to the ground's tennis pavilion which is currently on council’s buildings at-risk register. 

The plans add: “If refurbishment and restoration works aren’t undertaken within the next five years, then the building will be lost forever. 

“The extent of necessary works requires listed building consent and due to the condition of the building, it is likely that proposals to repair and reuse the building will be widely supported. 

“This project will deliver genuine benefits in terms of sports engagement and has the ability to enhance health and wellbeing. As such, the proposed sports facility will serve to further enhance the excellent sporting offer that Great Yarmouth Borough Council provides to the public and local community.” 

The Wellesley Recreation Ground, which is home to Great Yarmouth Town Football Club, was opened in 1888.

Its wooden grandstand is thought to be the oldest surviving football stand in the world, having opened in 1892.