Following the establishment of a base for Todmorden Junior FC the working relationship between the club and Riverside trustees is bearing fruit.

The season 2022/23 saw a range of ages using the playing fields for Sunday football.

Despite a difficult winter of constant poor weather the club got through most of its games, with only a few cancellations and the season’s agreement was extended into May to allow the programme to be completed.

The partnership facilitates access to the Football Foundation (FF) playing field improvement funding of £24,000 over six years with match funding of £6,000 to be derived from income to the site.

The programme to improve the playing surface is well underway with weeding seeding and feeding activities undertaken by professional contractors. The ground has also been shockwaved and “verti drained” which is designed to break up compaction, aerate the soil and improve the drainage.

The Todmorden Junior FC Club Chair Steve Crowther recently reported that they have already had to cancel fewer games than other clubs in their league so far in the 2023/24 season.

Stephen Curry site operational manager said,

It is early in the process but we are already seeing good results. In 2017 the FA agronomist graded the site as ‘Poor’ (80% meadow grass and weeds) It is now graded ‘Good’ and improving”.

He added that they have agreed with the Club, “not to try to rush the process and so limit use to the match days only for a couple of seasons until the root zone is established and the surface is robust enough take double the amount of games and potentially training sessions too.

Thanks to Todmorden Town Council the FF and UCVR new mobile goals were provided too.

The next phase will involve acquiring some equipment to bring some of the field maintenance in-house in 2024.