Grant boost for Calderdale’s “little Wembley”

Mick and Carol Sheppard of Haslem-Sheppard handing over their cheque to Halifax & District AFL'treasurer Joe Reid after becoming the league sponsors.'Pictured are l to r  David Rattigan, Tony Hilditch,Mick Redmile,Michael and Carol Sheppard, Joe Reid and Paul Throp.

Mick and Carol Sheppard of Haslem-Sheppard handing over their cheque to Halifax & District AFL'treasurer Joe Reid after becoming the league sponsors.'Pictured are l to r David Rattigan, Tony Hilditch,Mick Redmile,Michael and Carol Sheppard, Joe Reid and Paul Throp.

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A project to provide Calderdale with “ a little Wembley” has received a significant boost with a £20,000 grant.

Carol and Mick Sheppard bought land at The Astleys near SBCI cricket ground at the top of Sowerby Bridge with the aim of developing the site so it could stage amateur football matches, including cup semi-finals and finals.

Progress to provide three football pitches has been slow so far but the donation from SITA Trust is a real shot in the arm.

The money will be used to be level two of the pitches and will also contribute to pipes and gravel for drainage at the Blackwall site.

Calderdale is starved of decent, flat sports grounds and it is hoped the pitches will eventually be used all the year round by the local community.

Mick Sheppard is very well known in Calderdale football and cricket circles, having held prominent positions in local leagues.

The Sheppards said in a statement: “This is a dream of ours. We’ve had so many wonderful years out of sport in the area and made so many friends. This will hopefully create a facility for future generations for sport.”

Marianne Ivin of SITA Trust added “This is an example of true community spirit, where the determination of a local couple has made a huge difference to the sports provision in the area.

“Congratulations to Carol and Michael for gaining this funding. We’re delighted to be able to help.”

The SITA Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund.

This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided worthy projects with more than £1.4 billion.