EVESHAM United's new £1.4 million 3G pitch and pavilion has been officially opened.

Wychavon District Council chairman Robert Raphael was joined by Mid Worcestershire MP and sports minister Nigel Huddleston to cut the ribbon.

The Robins have worked with the council and The Football Foundation to turn the dream into a reality, opening up all-year round football to a host of sections of the community free from the fear of stodgy surfaces during winter months.

The state-of-the-art pitch is the first full sized, floodlit, artificial grass pitch in the district built to FA and FIFA standards. The pavilion includes two 16-bench changing rooms, separate changing rooms for match officials, a kitchen, reception and social room.

The Vale of Evesham 3G Pitch and Pavilion has been funded with the help of a £576,000 grant from The Football Foundation as well as money linked to planning agreements known as Section 106 money.

The new facility will support the club’s ambitions to expand the number of teams and players of all ages getting involved in football.

Cllr Raphael said: “It’s been our ambition to have a such a superb football facility and sporting hub in the area for some time and I’m delighted it’s become a reality.

"We know how important it is to help people stay active and we believe this facility will have a positive impact on the local community.”

Dean Speake, secretary of Evesham United, said: “This facility allows us to run 12 months of the year and will aid our development.

"We’ve already got two-year-olds involved on a Sunday morning and then we have walking football with the oldest person taking part being 74. It’s our intention to do more and involve more areas of the community with this great facility.”

Mr Huddleston added: “Thank you to everybody who has been involved in making this happen. It’s important we have these facilities as getting people, especially young children, active is really important for their physical health but also their mental health as well so it’s great to see it’s being used and will benefit the whole community.”