A POPULAR junior football club are delighted to finally find a new home.

After years of moving from pillar to post, Sutton JFC will now reside permanently at Malsis Hall for at least a quarter of a century.

The club’s members, volunteers and families worked with Craven District Council (CDC) and the developer Seddon to find a base for their 300 players.

In the past, they have played at Sutton Park, South Craven School and Glusburn School, but now they have signed a 25-year lease at the Keighley location for use of the three pitches and changing rooms.

These facilities have been created at Malsis Hall as part of the planning agreement relating to the conversion of the hall into a care and rehabilitation facility, and the building of a residential housing development.

CDC’s sports development officer Bruce Dinsmore's decade worth of work has been crucial.

Chairman of Sutton JFC Dan Akrigg said: “It’s a fantastic achievement by all involved to bring sustainable grassroots football to the area for many years ahead.

"The club has a great and bright future with an ever growing member base. The outcome is a shining testament to what can be achieved through collaboration.

"A huge thank you to Seddon, CDC, Malsis Hall and especially Bruce, without him, the project would have never got off the ground.”

CDC identified the need for a secure home for Sutton Juniors when it published the ‘Craven Playing Pitch Strategy’ in 2016.

The council then helped broker discussion between Seddon, the care provider and Sutton JFC, to create a 'Community Use Agreement' as part of the conditions of planning permission for the Malsis site.

The council has also worked with the Football Association and Sports England to ensure the quality of the pitches and changing facilities met their standards.

CDC’s lead member for resilient communities David Ireton said: “I am delighted that Sutton JFC have now been able to move in to their new home.

"This project shows how much can be achieved when councils work with communities and developers to improve facilities for the benefit of local people.

“I know our sports development officer worked very hard to help this come to fruition, along with the club’s members and volunteers. I would like to thank everyone for their efforts."

Service director for Malsis Hall Lisa Gardner added: “Seddon and ECHO, the care provider at Malsis Hall, are thrilled that the development of the site has provided benefits for all parties.

"It will help the care service become part of the local community.”