WORK has started on a £40,000 multi-purpose sports facility which it is hoped will help to curb anti-social behaviour amongst youngsters in Newton Aycliffe.

Horndale Residents’ Association has cut the first sod on the 40ft by 40ft multi-use games area (muga) which can be used for football, netball, basketball and cricket.

Philip Clark and Martin Carter set up the residents’ association to create the facility at Horndale Park, on Greenfield Way, after complaints that youths were causing problems in the area.

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They gained support from residents and youths and they sourced funds from various sources.

Mr Clark said: “There were reports of anti-social football near to resident’s homes.

“We asked the youths what they wanted and they said a muga pitch. We set up the residents’ group and secured the funding.

“Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (Gamp) has given us the land and is to maintain it

“I’m not sure when the work will be finished but we hope to have it up and running for the summer holidays.

“We visited the town’s schools and we promised the youngsters that we’d do everything we could to get this built. We have fulfilled that promise.”

Councillor John Clare, who represents the Horndale area for Great Aycliffe Town Council and Durham County Council, said: “I think it’s something which was needed.

“I spoke to some of the youths and they told me that they wanted somewhere to go. Now they can have a kick-about here.”

Funding was secured from several sources including livin, Newton Aycliffe Evangelical Church and Gamp.

It is hoped to offer sports training at the site in the future.