As you may have seen, work is underway at Ashton. The purpose is to prepare the facility to support Woodford Town Football Club as of the 2019/20 Season. The specific works are:
· Levelling the infield area to prepare it to become usable for football. This has begun. We are assured it will not affect our use of the track except at some times during the day when equipment needs to use the track. The plan is to have the infield available again from March 2019.
· New lighting. Upgrades to the existing lighting pillars, probably with the erection of one or two new pillars.
· New PA system to be deployed around the field, probably on the new lighting pillars.
· Fencing changes. The FA require the ground to be enclosed by a fence. The exact layout is to be decided and is also subject to planning permission. They will probably use the existing hedge plus new fencing from the end of the car park across by the hockey pitch and then across the lower field to join the motorway fence. For health and safety reasons, a temporary fence will be erected on the lower field to section off the throws area.
· New hammer cage. Suitable for competition purposes on the lower field, probably sited next to the hockey pitch.
· A grandstand. To be erected alongside the home straight roughly from the middle to the finish line. This will be very useful to us for home matches.
· The FA also require changing rooms for both teams and for the officials. New toilet facilities and a venue for the post match hospitality. All of which will belong to Vision/LBR and will be usable to all users of the venue. These are planned to be demountable buildings.
Regrettably we have lost the use of the javelin runway until March. We are working with Vision to provide a temporary one for training purposes. If we are successful, this will be on the lower field as an interim measure till March.
We are assured by Vision and Woodford Town that the football club only need to use Ashton for matches, and that training will take place elsewhere. As such, our use of the facility will be pretty much unhindered, we shall have to liaise with them on fixtures for the overlaps of our respective seasons.