SPORTS for all ages in Bolton is set to get a boost with the creation of a new all-weather sports surface.

Work is underway to create the £1 million pitch at Bolton School, to be used by local sports clubs, pupils and primary school children from across the borough.

There will be improved spectator areas, separate shelters for visiting teams, floodlighting and increased parking. Future plans include improving the changing rooms.

Bolton Hockey Club will use the new facility as its base with the National Hockey Foundation contributing a grant of £50,000 to fulfil their mission of improving hockey at youth and community level and England Hockey will also be partners in running the facility.

Local schools will receive 100 hours of free usage and there will be 80 hours of half price availability for local hockey.

Bolton School pupils will use the surface for a mixture of sports including tennis, where there is room for 12 courts.

Philip Britton, head of the boys' division said: "Plans were first suggested for an all-weather surface 20 years ago, so to have one now to catalyse the next steps in our success for boys’ hockey is wonderful news.

"Finally, home games will actually be at home.However, what is better now than it would have been back then has been the opportunity to plan the school facility with the local club and be part of town-wide plans for facilities development. We hope that the facility will make just as much difference to hockey in Bolton as it will to hockey at Bolton School.”

Head of the girls' division Sue Hincks said: “I am delighted that the girls will have the opportunity to play lacrosse on an artificial pitch which means that there will be no risk of our playing surface turning to mud on wet days.

"The artificial grass will allow heavier use than our current playing surfaces as there is no need for recovery time between games. The girls will also benefit from the consistency of the surface which will not change from day to day.”