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Club to build light towers at Ferrymead Park

Ferrymead Bays Football Club is pushing ahead with plans to install floodlights at its home turf after receiving council approval last week.

The club will build six 13m-high light towers on one of its three pitches at Ferrymead Park and expects them to be up by November.

President Gerard Cleary would not say how much the lights would cost the club while the tender process was live, but confirmed they came with a significant price tag.

He said the lights would turn the field into a “world-class facility” and provide “a once in a life time opportunity to have a high-quality practice facility”.

Cleary said lights were essential for attracting more volunteer coaches and players as training sessions were currently restricted to daylight hours when most people were working.

The floodlights would be turned on only during the autumn and winter months, and their use would be restricted to four nights a week between the hours of 4.30pm and 9pm. The club had the option to extend use one night a week to 9.30pm for matches. The light towers must also be painted khaki green to fit in with their surroundings.

Ferrymead/Brookhaven Residents Association member Dave Stringer said the plans were “definitely” a positive for the Ferrymead area and would give the club and wider community better access to the field at night.

Hagley-Ferrymead deputy chairperson Joe Davies said consultation had thrown up no major issues.

The Christchurch City Council is also upgrading the turf at Ferrymead Park in preparation for the city’s hosting of four teams for the FIFA U20 World Cup next year.

Cleary said the FIFA tournament had provided a unique opportunity for the upgrade of the Ferrymead grounds, which the club could not have borne on its own.

The turf at Avonhead Park, Garrick Park and Linfield Park will also be upgraded in preparation for the tournament, and Mainland Football will be installing floodlights at Avonhead Park as well.

Christchurch will host nine matches during next year’s tournament at AMI Stadium in Addington.

_Kyle Knowles for the Bay Harbour News