SPORTS enthusiasts in Portsmouth will soon be able to practise for longer and in all weathers.
The city’s university is building a new full-size pitch, suitable for playing football, rugby, lacrosse and American football at the Langstone campus.
This near-£1m project will begin this month and be ready by the end of September.
It will be available to students and people living nearby to use.
The synthetic grass is a type that looks and feels just like the real thing, but can be played on for 10 hours a day and lasts eight years.
Paul Tilley, head of department for sport and recreation, said: ‘I’m extremely excited about this project.
‘The new grass will significantly increase the number of activities we can undertake and for longer periods.
‘This winter we have lost 14 weeks of matches due to waterlogged grass pitches.
‘Such postponements will hopefully become a thing of the past.’
There will be double-sided spectator viewing between the existing hockey pitch and the new pitch.
A new hard-surfaced warm-up area and two five-a-side pitches will be created.
Two netball courts will also be resurfaced.
The first team football pitch will be completely dug up, full drainage installed and it will be levelled and seeded to a high standard.
Paul added: ‘It’s going to be a major new facility for the university and the community.
‘There won’t be anything like it for 25 miles. It’s going to transform the site down there.
‘It’s allowing us to maintain the certain levels of activity that people want to do.’
The plan is that the new pitch will be available to use seven days a week.
Paul Hayes, dean of faculty of science and chairman of the sports management group said: ‘The university installed a new hockey pitch 18 months ago, and we are so pleased with it that the football and rugby pitch was an obvious next step.’
He added: ‘We hope our students will benefit from the increased opportunities to keep fit, gain new skills and make friends.’