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new pitches for Fleet sports club

PUBLISHED: 17:08 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:23 23 August 2010

FIVE new football pitches for Ebbsfleet United s community leisure scheme are to be created after the club secured a £190,000 business loan. The Blue Square Premier team, based at Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, unveiled the plan on Tuesday. Fleet Leisure

FIVE new football pitches for Ebbsfleet United's community leisure scheme are to be created after the club secured a £190,000 business loan.

The Blue Square Premier team, based at Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, unveiled the plan on Tuesday.

Fleet Leisure and Sports Club, established in 2005, will house four new artificial five-a-side football pitches and a new seven-a-side football pitch at the site in Nelson Road.

Brian Kilcullen, director of Fleet Leisure, said: "This expansion represents a big step forward in the development of the site and will hopefully be the first of many milestones for the business as we look to increase the leisure and health services we provide.

"We're also focused on continuing to grow our presence in the local community by developing closer partnerships with schools and other local initiatives."

Featuring floodlights and the latest 'third-generation' artificial turf - which uses sand and rubber infill to create a safe playing surface - the new football pitches are already under construction. Work is due to be completed by March, with the expansion also set to create three new jobs.

The business currently employs 20 people and has an annual turnover of £500,000.

To secure the £190,000 loan for the expansion, Fleet Leisure approached its banking partner, Lloyds TSB Commercial, which has an experienced team in place that specialises in funding community-related projects.

Mr Kilcullen added: "The tailored lending devised by Lloyds TSB Commercial has been invaluable to the growth of Fleet Leisure, as is the sector-specific guidance provided by its specialist team. We would like to thank them for their continued support of our efforts."

Steve Seath, relationship manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial, added: "Brian and his team work extremely hard to ensure the local community have access to high quality sports and leisure facilities, so it's fantastic to see his plans come to fruition.

"This development will provide a great sporting facility for the area and will be a real boost for the local community, providing affordable facilities for people of all ages.

"We're looking forward to working closely with Brian and his management team as they continue to develop and expand the business over the coming years."

Fleet Leisure and Sports Club provides high quality sports, leisure and entertainment facilities for the local community and has commissioned the new football pitches as part of its ongoing plan to improve and expand its facilities.

The 11-acre Fleet Leisure site already includes a members' bar and function hall, a bowling green, five football pitches, changing rooms and a multi-purpose hall.

Fleet Leisure was acquired from Kimberly Clark in 2005 with the help of a Government grant from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, combined with council funding and a £275,000 loan from Lloyds TSB Commercial.

A new website was due to go live yesterday - www.fleetfives.com - which will post news about the progress of development.

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