Rudheath Senior Academy has opened a new £53,000 artificial pitch as their ambitious programme of improvements continues to improve facilities for pupils.

The school has been without a synthetic sports surface for five years, after the previous pitch was condemned for safety reasons when a now defunct Trust were in charge.

But North West Academies Trust (NWAT) took over in 2018 and immediately launched a £8m plan to make huge improvements across the board.

Now a generous £20,000 donation from Rudheath and Witton Together has helped pay for a facility which will make a massive difference to the school and surrounding community.

Headteacher Lee Barber said: “We invited Rudheath and Witton Together to discuss how we could make the school more of a hub for the community.

“The astroturf is part of a bigger initiative to make our on-site leisure facilities more accessible to the community.

“The pitch is already making a massive difference to PE lessons, particularly during the winter months when it has doubled our PE footprint. Simply put, we can do a lot more now.

“This has been particularly important coming out of lockdown when we really need to get pupils active. We have a particular focus on health and wellbeing.”

Mr Barber, who sits on the board at Rudheath and Witton Together, believes it is important to open the facility up to local sports teams and groups.

He added: “We have a commitment to the community and we want to see the sports facilities open in the evenings and on weekends so that they are in regular use by our community.”

Heidi Bibby, project manager for Rudheath and Witton Together, said: “Rudheath and Witton Together is a big local project which was given £1million in 2013.

“The project is led by local residents to make the area an even better place to live. We are now in the final two years of the project and we are delighted to be able to contribute funding towards the new sports pitch at Rudheath Senior Academy and bring it back into use, not only for the school but also the wider community.”

Rudheath, like the other schools run by NWAT across Cheshire and Shropshire, place a high value on the wide-ranging benefits of sports as part of the curriculum.

NWAT CEO Steve Docking said: “The team at Rudheath have worked tremendously hard and have made great strides towards getting our academy where we want it to be.”