THE New Year has kicked off in style at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.

After many years of planning, students and staff celebrated the handover of their new state-of-the-art 3G sports complex this week.

The facility, which cost £700,000 to design and construct, was officially handed over to the executive head teacher, Denis Oliver, ahead of the first match to be played on the all-weather pitch on Wednesday.

In the ensuing contest, the Year 11 team were victorious against the all-star Sixth Form team.

Mr Oliver said: “It seems such a short time since planning permission was granted last August and in that time we have tendered the contract and delivered what I can only describe a stunning new sports complex.

“The money for this project has been provided by our governors who had the insight a few years ago to start to build up a development fund. This has been used to bring to fruition the bigger projects that we needed for us to continue to deliver outstanding teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum.

“We have been disappointed that other community stakeholders have not contributed to our achieving our goal but nevertheless it’s here and I’m delighted.”

The sports complex boasts a full size football pitch that meets the standards of FIFA accreditation.

It also can be partitioned into three seven-a-side pitches, all of which are independently floodlit.

The complex also includes an enclosed long and triple jump area which will complement the sports facilities available to students.

Tony Halsall, director of business services, who oversaw the delivery of the project said: “Our aim is to make this new sports complex available to our community at evenings and weekends.

“We are working with the Everybody’s Sports and Leisure Trust who run the leisure centre on the school site to promote the uptake of sport on the pitch. We have already secured the support of Cheshire FA who will be kicking of a seven-a-side league here in the coming weeks.”

The next launch event will be on February 11 when community sports leader, Trevor Capewell, has organised a tournament for all of our partner primary schools.

The event starts at 4pm and special guest will be former England international Dean Ashton.