WORK is starting next week on the first phase of a major improvement scheme at a Keighley sports facility.

Pitches at Marley Activities and Coaching Centre will be transformed as part of the initiative.

The upgrade will see the 3G pitch lengthened and a new FIFA-accredited artificial surface laid, which will enable league matches to be played.

There will also be changes to fencing and access, to meet Football Association requirements, paving the way for Steeton AFC to use the site as its home ground.

And an indoor carpeted sports surface will be replaced.

Work on the opening £280,000 phase is due to begin on Monday (Aug 17), and will take about two months to complete.

Funding has been secured by Bradford Council. The Football Facilities Improvement Fund will contribute to the upgrades to enable fans to access and watch Steeton AFC matches, in the next phase of works.

The council says the project supports both its playing pitch strategy and pitch improvement programme, aimed at providing facilities to meet current and future demand and address declining playing numbers across several key sports.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's executive member for healthy people and places, said: "It is great that the works at the Marley site are to start.

"Our residents deserve to see improvements being made to our sports pitches in Bradford district – and this facility will encourage those who want to participate in team sports, such as football and rugby, for many years to come.

"A key priority for us is for people to keep fit and active. Providing better sports facilities for residents, schools and local sports clubs is one way we can ensure this.

"Steeton AFC playing home games at Marley will be a great new addition to the centre, which I hope existing and new supporters will enjoy.

"The Marley facility is also used by grassroots football teams of all ages, meaning it will benefit the next generation of footballers from across the district."