GRANGE Leisure’s new all-weather grass (AGP) pitch has been so popular it is no longer taking week-day block bookings.

The pitch, which is a top-of-the range 3G AGP, only opened in January but is already jam-packed after sports clubs around the town booked the pitch for their training.

Ian Green, senior operations manager at Grange Leisure, said: “We have stopped taking block-booking during the week after 5pm because it’s so busy, but we are still taking bookings at weekends.

“We want to leave a number of evenings open for casual bookings during the week.

“I thought we could expect it to be popular because we don’t have anything else like this in the area, but it has been great that it has been quite this popular. The take-up has been very good.

“Financially we have been doing well from it too. It’s only been open for two months but we are confident that we will be meeting the expected budget for this year.”

The new pitch is floodlit and has two seven-a-side pitches or one nine-a-side pitch.

Ian said: “It’s a 3G artificial grass pitch, which means that it is the most up-to-date astroturf pitch you can get, except that it’s way beyond astroturf.”

Stratton Juniors were the first lucky team to use the new pitch, which is also being used by Swindon Town Football Club for their goalkeeper training.

Ian said: “We started to take bookings in the middle of January, and then on January 17 it was completed and since then we’ve continued to take bookings.”

The installation of the new pitch was part of a £1m facelift for the whole centre, which is more than 30 years old.

The refurbishment included installing a coffee bar and offices for the Parish Council, major work on the roof and a new health and fitness suite.

Chairman of the parish council, John Foley, said: “It’s been a long time coming. We have been planning it for the past two or three years now and it’s nearly finished and it’s been a great success.”

For more information about Grange Leisure or to book the All Weather Grass Pitch, call 01793 825525 or email centremanager@strattonstmargaret. visit