ILKLEY Town AFC have unveiled ambitious plans to build an artificial pitch.

The West Yorkshire League club intend to install a state of the art 3G pitch in conjunction with Ilkley Grammar School on their field at Ben Rhydding.

It will form part of the “big plan” to develop the facilities at Ben Rhydding Sports Club which aims to create an outstanding sporting centre with a compact athletics training facility, a second artificial hockey pitch and an improved clubhouse.

The football club have already launched a funding and investment scheme to their members in a bid to raise £150,000.

The club is working closely with Ilkley Grammar School and Bradford Metropolitan District Council and is expecting to submit planning application in January.

Applications for funding will also be made to The Football Foundation and Sport England early in the new year for a facility which will be used by the club's 30 teams, Ilkley Grammar School and be available for community use.

The club say that an artificial pitch can be played on from 9am until 10pm. Over the course of the season ten times as many games can be played on an artificial pitch as can be played on a grass surface.

Club Chairman Richard Giles said: “We have a once in a generation opportunity to massively improve the playing facilities for footballers in Ilkley. There are simply not enough good quality pitches and the ones we have are badly affected during the winter by the weather.

"The quality of artificial pitches has come a long way from the days of the plastic pitches at QPR and Luton from the 1980s. A state of the art artificial pitch will create a fabulous playing experience for future generations of footballers in Ilkley.

"Our innovative funding scheme gives local people the chance to be part of building a fantastic facility and earn a decent return.”

Anybody interested in finding out more should contact Richard Giles on 07714 153515.