Press & PR

Story so far

BerkoAstro an all weather 3G Floodlit  pitch with changing facilities located in the grounds of Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted

September 2012 – Opening of the Paul Beard Centre adjacent to the 3G pitch by Carolyn Beard.  The Centre includes a meeting room/class room space, toilets and the facilities to provide refreshments and a referee’s room.

November 2010  - BerkoAstro opened  by Luther Blissett, the legendary Watford football player, opened the facility by scoring the “opening goal”, in the presence of the Mayor of Dacorum, Cllr. Roger M. Taylor, and the Chairman of the Football Foundation, Clive Sherling

July 2010 – Work started on BerkoAstro

June 2010 – Grant awarded by the Football Foundation

April 2010 – Bid for grant submitted to the Football Foundation

2007  - Ashlyns School, a comprehensive school, teamed up with Berkhamsted Raiders Community Football Club (Raiders) to provide this community project

Facility dedicated to two local sportsmen

The whole project is named after Paul Beard,(1965-2009). Paul was the former Chairman of Berkhamsted Raiders CFC, a keen local sportsman, who inspired many young people to participate in sport at all levels and one of the original team who had this vision.

The pitch is dedicated to the memory of Nick Walsh (1990-2007), a keen footballer, a student at Ashlyns and supporter of our project. His family and friends have continued their support by holding an annual memorial match.

The facts

Hertfordshire Football Association has identified Berkhamsted as a high priority area
Berkhamsted is short of 26 full sized football pitches.   Even with this extra space, Berkhamsted would still not reach the Council’s desired provision of 2.07 hectares per 1000 population

Ashlyns School, the upper school in the three tier system, has students from the age of 13 – 18 years of age, has had no substantial funding spent on it since it was built in 1935.

The project will be available to deliver curriculum PE for local schools. Raiders will use the facility for their training and matches. The facility will be open for hire in the evenings and at weekends.


Spring 2008, local MPs David Gauke and Mike Penning pledged their support for the Berko Astro project at Ashlyns School and its planning application to the local council.

PDF file Read the article from the Gazette

Summer 2008, planning permission granted for a full-size floodlit Astro pitch and changing pavilion.

Autumn 2008, draft Football Foundation bid document finalised, project estimated cost £1.3 million.

FA indicates project and business plan in line with the Football Foundation criteria.

Spring 2009 FA sent letter of support indentifying Berkhamsted as an area of high priority for football development.

Spring 2009 all project in planning stages informed that funding has been reduced from the Football Foundation.

Ashlyns has raised £100K, with many other fund raising ideas.

Summer 2009 Ashlyns and Raiders launch appeal to community. Read the Gazette article on berkhamstedtoday.

Gazette article about Berko Astro


Carol Preedy
01442 285 497

Gazette Logo

The Gazette

Launched this project in April 2008

PDF file View the article

Berkhamsted Today - launch article
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