A new artificial sports ground in Waltham Abbey is now open and available for hire.

The Town Mead astroturf was due to be completed over a year ago in February 2013, but a series of setbacks meant that it has not been opened to the public until just last month.

The opening was initially delayed due to planning conditions, and was put back further when the original contractor appointed to construct the pitch, AMB Sports Limited, went into administration.

The project, said to be in the region of £530,000, has been funded by Epping Forest District Council and managed by Waltham Abbey Town Council. The District Council have estimated that the pitch should generate in the region of £60,000 per year.

Waltham Abbey Town Clerk, Katherine Richmond said: “The pitch is going to be used by local people in the day as well as many local football teams in the evening; it will be a real asset to the community.”