AIRBUS UK Broughton FC will become the third club in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League to play on a synthetic pitch next season.

It is planned that work to lay a new state-of-the-art 3G surface at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium will begin later this month, with completion due before the end of July in readiness for next season.

A substantial proportion of the total project cost is being funded by a grant of £350,000 from the Football Association of Wales, through its Project 3G investment programme, which is funded via the UEFA Hat-Trick programme.

In addition to the new pitch, the floodlights at the stadium will be upgraded to allow for use of a low-level community lighting setting.

"I am delighted to confirm on behalf of the FAW that the fourth UEFA Hat-Trick 3G project will be developed at the home of Airbus UK Broughton," says FAW president Trefor Lloyd Hughes.

"This investment from the FAW is in excess of £355,000 and will be a facility that the club, its thriving academy and indeed the whole of Flintshire will be proud of. The new pitch will enhance playing surface standards and will offer a focal point for the wider community.

"The new facility will be a hub for community activity, stimulate collaboration with local partners and other users, and deliver wider economic regeneration, social inclusion and health benefits for the community."

Airbus UK Broughton FC chairman and plant head Paul McKinlay says: "This is not only excellent news for the football club, but also for the employees at the plant and for the community in Broughton and the surrounding areas."

"We believe the stadium will be a real community hub delivering an excellent facility for participation in sport" - Paul McKinlay

"The football club and the company work in partnership to encourage involvement in football in the community and, with the potential for all year round use, we believe the stadium will be a real community hub delivering an excellent facility for participation in sport, as well as promoting health and well being.

"In addition, the pitch will be used extensively by our academy at all ages from seven to 19 and will also be available for hire through the Sports and Social Club.

"The difficulties with Welsh Premier League postponements we have suffered will also become a thing of the past.

"I truly believe this is a great step for football in this area and I would like to thank the Welsh FA, the Sports and Social Club and Airbus UK for their support to enable this project - I am sure we will see the benefits for years to come."

Broughton Wings Sports & Social Club manager Jonathan Williams, who applied for the funding, said: "The joint-funded project is benefiting from over £100,000 of Sports Club members' funds. 

"In addition to the facility being a great community hub, the members of the Sports Club will enjoy using the facility for years to come.  

"I would like to personally thank Steve Oates who has worked tremendously hard from our facilities department to get us to where we are, commencing such a fantastic project."

The Wingmakers' director of football Andy Preece also welcomed the development: "The new 3G pitch is going to be a massive benefit to the club financially and to the local community," he commented.

"This will be really positive in building a larger fan base and keeping us competitive while securing the long term future of the football club."

Wales team manager Chris Coleman added: "It's fantastic news that the FAW have invested in 3G at another Welsh club.

"Not only will this improve the standards for the existing Airbus squads, but will provide the best possible environment for the next generation of Welsh players to improve their skills.

"When you think of the adverse weather this past winter, the 3G facility allows players of all ages and ability to enjoy the game of football throughout the year.

"The FAW and its partners in this initiative deserve huge credit."