BOURNEMOUTH University has unveiled its new multi-sports pitch at Chapel Gate.

The university says the new facility will “increase opportunities” for those who want to lead a more active lifestyle.

Supported by a £1.7 million grant from the Football Foundation and the FA, the pitch can be used as a full-size football pitch or multiple pitches for five and seven-a-side matches.

It can also be used for rugby and American football, and has been made available for hire by schools, community groups, and residents

Helen Palmer, head of sport at Bournemouth University (BU), said: “I’m so thrilled, we wanted to put Bournemouth University on the map in terms of sports facilities and we wanted to have the best for our students and staff.

"As well as this, about 80 per cent of Chapel Gate use is by the local community and grassroots sport is how we can inspire children for lifelong physical activity.”

AFC Bournemouth players Emiliano Marcondes, Katie Scadding, Abbie Jones, and Holly Humphries came to the opening ceremony where children and students from BU became the first to try out the new pitch.

Bournemouth Echo: AFCB's Abbie Jones and Katie Scadden held a training session with BU's women's teamAFCB's Abbie Jones and Katie Scadden held a training session with BU's women's team (Image: Bournemouth University)

Emiliano Marcondes, midfielder for AFC Bournemouth, said: “It is amazing to see this new pitch that Bournemouth University have created.

“Sport is a great tool to build our communities and I am happy to see that they are doing a lot towards this here and it makes me want to join in.”

Bournemouth University purchased Chapel Gate in 2019 and this is the latest in a series of investments made at the site.

Previous upgrades include the hockey pitches, enhancements to grass pitches, infrastructure, and improved lighting.

Jim Andrews, chief operating officer at BU, said: “This is really exciting for Bournemouth University and our local community.

"Since taking on the site we have been committed to bringing it up to a professional standard and making it a valuable hub for community sport.

"We will continue to invest, and we want to enhance the facilities even further so we can get more school use on site and more sports – in particular we’d like to improve the provision for disability sport.”