FOOTBALLERS could get a new home in Trowbridge, after the town council decided it is time to take its scheme to build a new artificial pitch next to Trowbridge Rugby Club to the next stage.

The council intends to apply for planning permission on fields on the Semington side of the rugby club’s Doric Park ground on the A361, aiming to provide an all-year-round training facility and be available for the public to hire.

The plan is to include changing facilities and a gym, and the rugby club will also be able to use the car park there when they have tournaments and events which fill their own parking spaces.

Trowbridge Town Council is using planning contributions from Section 106 and grants as well as a loan to finance the project. They say a loan of up to £1.8 million will be repaid using the income generated by fees charged to users, with no extra cost to the council.

Wiltshire College Trowbridge has said it would like to use the facility during the day for its sports courses, and would need two classrooms as part of the development.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday night, councillors discussed if the pitch could be used for other sports, including hockey.

Cllr Andrew Bryant said: “My daughter has recently become very interested in hockey, but has to go all the way to Warminster once or even several times a week.

“Football and rugby is played a lot but there are more facilities for it.”

Town clerk Lance Allan said the type of artificial turf would not be appropriate for hockey as different length ‘grass’ is needed for different types of sport, although facilities for hockey could be considered for the future.

The year after Trowbridge Rugby Club moved to Doric Park in Hilperton in 2013, the town council bought a five-acre field next top it. Since then they have had talks with the the FA, the RFU and Sport England about investment in the site.

In addition to the five acres, the town council also wants to buy another 13 acres further along the A361 but has so far been unsuccessful.

Councillors are also in discussion with developers to get more grass pitches at Elm Grove, near Wiltshire Drive and Ashton Park in West Ashton, which will include parking and changing rooms.

The town council are keen to hear people’s views: email