FOOTBALL fever will grip Calne next month when the official launch of the new pitches at the Beversbrook sports field takes place.

A football festival will mark the opening of the 11 new pitches at the £1.8 million site on May 2, following on from last week’s launch of the cricket fields.

To ensure Calne gets the most out of the facility the town council has appointed a community football development officer, Kevin Whitehorn, who will develop football, in particular for girls, and increasing participation within soccer.

Mr Whitehorn said: “These are exciting times for the community of Calne as after nearly eight years of planning and hard fundraising, the Beversbrook Sports Facility has finally been completed.

“The football festival will be about getting people playing as much football as possible and it should be a fun day.”

Representatives from the Football Foundation, who donated £1m to Calne Town Council to fund the centre, along with mayor Mercy Baggs, will witness the first ball being kicked.

The project, kick-started by former town clerk Ann Kingdon, will cater for football, cricket and other sports clubs.

Mr Whitehorn said: “Bevers-brook will offer a much needed facility for the community and a home for local sport clubs.

“It has the potential to bring new and exciting sports to the area and I am looking to introduce archery, cheerleading, kite flying, summer camps and a healthy eating project.

“Everyone at the council is very excited about the launch, especially the mayor and town clerk, as the project has finally come to an end, and we would all like to thank Ann Kingdon for her hard work and support.”

The centre is set in a 54-acre environmentally friendly site with state-of-the-art facilities and pitches equipped with under soil drainage to keep them in top condition for games and training.

The centre offers 11 football pitches – two adult size, three youth pitches and six for mini soccer – two cricket squares, cricket nets, a hard court for multi sports, a meeting room and eight changing rooms.