THE long awaited all-weather football pitch in Devizes is now complete and is expected to be handed over to the town council today.

But players will have to wait a bit longer before they can use the artificial pitch at Green Lane Playing Fields as the rest of the £1.7 million project is not expected to be finished until the end of March.

Town clerk Simon Fisher told the recreation and amenities committee on Tuesday evening that the work is ahead of schedule.

He said: “Construction of the all-weather football pitch at Green Lane is now complete and officers are expecting it to be handed over on Thursday.

“The project to construct the all-weather playing surface has been completed ahead of schedule, as the expected completion date was mid February.”

But he advised that because the entrance to the new pitch is via the car park which is being used by the building contractors it cannot be used until the whole project is complete.

He said: “The remainder of the project, namely the construction of the pavilion and improvements to the car park, is due to be completed at the end of March, again ahead of the anticipated completion date of May.

“As access to the all-weather pitch is via the car park, the facility will not be in use until the whole project is completed.”

Town councillors are expected to get a conducted tour in February.

Plans to upgrade the Green Lane Playing Fields have taken many years to come to fruition but there was delight back in September when it was announced work would kick off.

Wiltshire Football Association announced that a deal had been struck with Devizes Town Council for Green Lane Playing Fields to become a centre for the whole of the county.

Wiltshire FA football development manager Mark Young said: “Sustainable football facilities are fundamental to the support and development of the nation’s game.

“The new facility in Devizes is centrally located in the county and will offer more opportunities for players all year round.

“We hope the new facility will inspire more people to get involved in the game.” The ground will become home to Bishops Cannings Youth FC and Devizes Town Youth FC. The pavilion will have offices above for the FA.