HAMWORTHY United chairman Steve Harvey reckons having a 3G pitch will provide the cornerstone of the club’s future – on and off the pitch.

The Dorset County FA (DCFA) yesterday received the green light to press ahead with long-standing plans to put down an artificial surface at its headquarters, where United are tenants.

Around £500,000 is set to be spent on the pitch and new floodlighting with the project being funded by DCFA and the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund.

The county association will run and reap any yield of the new pitch but Hammers are set to benefit from providing all bar and catering facilities at the site.

The breakthrough will be a shot in the arm for a club that struggled to find a chairman and were forced to deny rumours it was facing closure back in October 2015.

But Harvey, who returned to the club last month, insists the boost is not just about money.

“This is a complete breath of fresh air for Hamworthy United, we can only move forward with these facilities,” said Harvey.

“This has probably been in the pipeline for three years so to get it over the line is brilliant because it secures the future of our club.

“We get to run the clubhouse and we keep all the takings. We are going to add a catering facility and revamp the bar area for the influx of business which should be open seven days a week.

“It will create employment down there because at the moment, we are only open for match days and functions.

“But just as importantly, we are going to have the best pitch in the Wessex Premier which will hopefully attract players.

“Shane (Traynor, first-team manager) has already had a lot of players asking him whether it will go through and now he can give them a firm yes, this will be a major boost to our plans to build for next season.

“For us, bringing through youngsters is so important, so being able to play the same style throughout the club like Shane wants to will benefit that.”

The work is to be carried out by specialist contractor Lano Sports from the beginning of May with an estimated 12-week turnaround time.

DCFA chief executive Sue Hough said: “We are really excited about the award of the grant and the development of the 3G.

“It means two things. Firstly, we will be able to involve the community in providing training opportunities for local clubs and secondly, it gives us a state-of-the-art facility to run some of our activities.”