COUNCILLORS will this week discuss the progress of a bid that aims to develop footballing opportunities at a recreation ground.

Earlier this year, Hartlepool Borough Council agreed a draft plan for Grayfields after talks with local residents and sporting organisations.

Central to the plan was the development of new changing facilities, parking, an artificial turf pitch and a revised pitch layout.

Following approval, work began on a bid for funding from the Football Foundation.

Members of the council's Mayor's Portfolio Decision Schedule will meet on Thursday to hear how the bid is developing.

The development programme at Grayfields includes establishing a mini-soccer centre to promote the game to youngsters aged five to 11, promotion of girls and women's football, and the creation of a coach education centre. The cost is estimated at £1.3m.

A council report to Thursday's meeting said: "Assuming a maximum grant of £1m from the Football Foundation, this leaves £300,000 required from the council or other sources.."

It said that when money from other funds was taken into account, it would still leave the council needing to find £128,000 to turn the idea into reality.

The report added: "The hopes and aspirations of many of the footballers who play at the site are pinned on this bid, but it will also open up the site to a wide range of new users."