A MAJOR investment will help a community to shoot some hoops after a landmark funding was pledged to improve deteriorating sporting facilities.

More than £100,000 has poured into Leisure World Highwoods, based in The Gilberd School, Brinkley Lane, Colchester, to improve the shared netball facilities.

The investment will be used to upgrade court lighting, resurface two courts, recoat and reline eight courts and ensure all ten courts have new posts, nets and padding.

It means netball in Colchester can continue to be enjoyed by netball leagues and clubs who hire the facilities, after concerns had been raised about their quality in recent months.

Colchester Council’s resources boss Sue Lissimore said: “I am pleased the council can provide for netball in Colchester with support from ward councillors and the school.

“The netball facilities at Highwoods have been enjoyed for decades and over a period of time the lighting has gradually failed and there has been other issues with surfacing which reduced the capacity for matches to be played.

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“This investment will ensure even more residents and visitors can enjoy netball in our borough.

“I would like to thank the netball participants for their patience and understanding as we worked to secure the funding.”

The project has landed £86,000 from Colchester Council’s Section 106 grant funding, £6,000 from Highwoods ward councillors’ locality budget and a further £4,000 from the 2022 Highwood’s Locality Budget, with the rest of the investment being paid for by The Gilberd School.

Linda Exley, headteacher of The Gilberd School, said: “The school is delighted to receive this funding from the council towards refurbishment of our outdoor sports facilities, specifically those which will benefit the Colchester Netball League and of course our students.

“Our multi-use games areas are in daily use, and we thank all involved in securing this investment in sport at The Gilberd School.”

Highwoods councillor Gerard Oxford, who had campaigned for investment to be made at the site, added: “It will encourage children and adults to play netball and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of team sports.”