ARTIFICIAL football pitches installed at a leisure centre have proved to be a worthwhile investment as residents rush to book peak-time slots.
The 3G pitches at Worthing Leisure Centre opened at a cost of £450,000 in June and are often fully-booked during peak hours.
Business development officer Alan Ford said: “We are full to capacity at peak times and we are looking at filling them at other times, with other community activities, such as walking football.
“Walking football started about seven or eight months ago with Adur wellbeing, for six-week instruction courses.”
The centre told the Herald at the time of redevelopment that hockey use of the old pitches had declined in recent years, used for training for one hour every Friday evening.
Sixteen matches were booked in during the 2012/13 season.
The rest of the time the pitches are booked by local football clubs and leisure leagues.
The pitches have generated an income of £75,000 to £85,000 each year for the last five years but it is estimated that the redevelopment will lead to an additional annual increase of £59,000.
Mr Ford added the pitches were on track for targets.
He said: “Although we have not traded for a full year, having only opened in June, 2014, the football centre figures are on track.
“They are turning over in excess of the required amount to pay back the investment to save loan”
The Herald team visited the pitches last Wednesday to try the facilities out.
For a video, visit www.worthingherald.co.uk
To book a pitch, or for further information, visit www.worthingleisure.co.uk or call 01903 502237.