A £15 MILLION shake up of Bradford’s playing fields will see major improvements to sites across the district.

Investments will see Myra Shay sports grounds off Barkerend Road and Marley Playing Fields, just outside Keighley, turned into “district-wide multi-sports hub sites” - joining the previously announced Wyke Sports Village development.

But other pitches in the district could be sold off as part of the scheme, which was announced by Bradford Council today.

The Bradford District 2019 Playing Pitch Strategy will be discussed by the authority’s decision making Executive at a meeting next Tuesday.

It comes after a report into the district’s sports facilities released last year shone a critical light on the declining state of public pitches and fields, with sports clubs pointing to poor maintenance and investment.

The new plan will see £10,523,000 invested in the three district hubs and another £3,130,000 invested in creating five “local multi-sports hub sites” - one in each of Bradford’s constituencies.

Each would have improved or new changing facilities and better quality pitches.

And £1,200,000 will be spent on improving a number of individual pitches and sports facilities, although the pitches that will benefit have not yet been revealed.

Part of the works will be funded by the sale of redundant or “low value” pitches - with the Council hoping to make £3.5 million from such sales.

Sports England would have a say on the sale of any pitches, and the policy says: “Where any current pitches are lost due to the redevelopment of sites, these will be adequately re-provided through re-investment into new pitches by creating or further developing Hub sites.”

At least £1.5 million pf grant funding has also been secured by the Council.

A report going before the Executive says the district hubs will “significantly increase access and opportunities for wider community engagement.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This strategy supports our ambition to provide improved places to be active and play sport across the district. We aim to protect and improve the facilities we have got and bring new facilities to the residents in the district.

“A key priority for us is for people to keep fit and active and providing good sports facilities for residents, schools and local sports clubs in their local areas is one way we can ensure this.”

Councillor Imran Khan, an Executive member and Councillor for Bowling and Barkerend, said: “We’ve been listening to the concerns of people in BD3 around access to first class sports facilities that will encourage local people to get more active.

“We’re pleased that Myra Shay has been identified as one of the areas to benefit from the additional investment.”

Liberal Democrat Councillor Riaz Ahmed represents the Bradford Moor ward, which will benefit from the Myra Shay improvements. He said: “Any improvements are welcome. You look at inner city areas, and there is a huge disparity in the quality of sports facilities. A lot of young people are getting involved in sport and a lot of people who live and work here use this park. It is a push in the right direction.”

The Wyke Sports Village will be the biggest piece of the new strategy, and is expected to cost £5,523,000.

It will include a cycle track, cyclo-cross route, football pitches and an all-weather 3G/4G Artificial Grass Pitch along with changing facilities.

It will link with the Sustrans Route 66 cycle way, part of the Spen Valley Greenway which creates a road free route to the facility along a line between Dewsbury and the Euroway trading estate.

Previous estimates had put the cost of the sports village at £2.5 million.

Once up and running the site is predicted to generate a surplus of over £80,000 a year.

The Executive will be asked to approve the 2019 sports pitch strategy when it meets on Tuesday, replacing the existing strategy, which was adopted in 2014.

In October the Telegrpah & Argus reported that more than half of Bradford Council-maintained bowling greens and rugby league pitches are in poor condition, and football clubs also said the quality of pitches across the district “has declined in recent seasons due to a reduction in the maintenance programme undertaken by the council”.