By Jack Reed
Durham University has increased the cost of using pitches at Maiden Castle ahead of the start of a new sporting season.
The fees for both the water-based hockey pitch and rubber crumb pitches have risen to £19 per hour for a half pitch, up £1 from last season’s £18. It now costs £38 to rent the pitch for a full hour, up £2 from the £36 the season before.
There has been no change in the price for sports teams to use the sand-based Astro pitch, available for football, hockey and lacrosse teams.
Concerning the rise in fees for the rubber crumb and water-based pitches, Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), said: “Fees for the University’s water-based hockey pitch and rubber crumb pitches have increased for 2017/18 by £1 per hour for a half-pitch and £2 per hour for a full pitch.
“These were in line with the minimal increases the University makes every two years and were agreed in consultation with the 2016/17 College Presidents’ Committee. Our artificial surface fees are some of the most affordable in the sector.
“The addition of a third rubber crumb pitch means there are greater opportunities for students across both University and College sport to access all-weather surfaces.
“College football, mixed lacrosse and rugby union have benefitted from this most significantly and consequently the number of rubber crumb hours accessed by Colleges is increasing.”
The third rubber crumb pitch, which is currently being developed, is scheduled to be completed by the start of November, with matches planned for the 4th November onwards.
Photograph: Durham University