WORK is under way on an ambitious £240,000 scheme to provide recreational and sporting facilities in Ashton Hayes.

The project will provide the village with an eco-friendly playground, a football pitch, ‘carbon-neutral’ changing facilities and a nature area.

The work is being carried out on a 4.7-acre field on B5393 Ashton Lane and construction of the facilities has been made possible thanks to a £50,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN).

The work is expected to be completed in April.

Equipment for the playground was chosen following consultation with children at Ashton Hayes Primary School, the local toddler group and Ashton House Nursery.

Resident Andrew Garman, chairman of Ashton Hayes Sports and Recreation Association which is behind the project, said: “Getting this project off the ground has been a real community effort over the past four years and we are delighted that we are finally able to start construction.

“We are enormously grateful to all the organisations and individuals who have supported the project, without whom it would not have been possible.

“We look forward to welcoming them to our official opening ceremony, which will be held early in the summer.”

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “The Ashton Hayes sport and recreation project will provide a fantastic space for local people to get outdoors and have some fun.”

The project is funded through a combination of grants from the likes of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Ashton Hayes Parish Council, Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, as well as fundraising events in the village and donations from residents and businesses.