MATCHES are now being played at the new petanque facilities at the top of Montpellier Hill.
The Pier Head Bouledrome is now ready for use and will shortly be opened to the public, after being tested by local players.
Harrogate Montpellier Petanque Club chairman Nigel Clay said: “We’re just waiting for the display boards to be fixed, and need to do some final checks before we can open the facilities to the general public.
“Safety has been a key factor throughout the design and implementation of the project to minimise any risks in such a public space.
“This has been a collective effort with the council providing and preparing the site, the Ellis Bates Group funding the materials and setting up costs, plus a group of volunteers completing the building work.
“The reaction from passers-by over the last two weeks has been incredibly positive and encouraging. The Pier Head has been a neglected space for many years and we are delighted to be providing a new, permanent, recreational and sociable space in the heart of the town for the benefit of residents and visitors to Harrogate.”
The work has included a timber surround and fencing for the terrains, as well as an aggregate playing surface and disabled access ramps. Once the site is fully operational, the Oxfam shop on Montpellier Hill will be hiring out kits of boules and cloches (jacks) and the proceeds will go to the charity.
Nigel added: “Petanque is a very accessible and enjoyable game that can be played by all ages and abilities. We believe that it is especially suited to Harrogate and you couldn’t wish for a better location for visibility and access. The Club will provide a focus for those that want to play on a more regular basis and gain the sociable benefits. We’d already got a significant membership without a ‘boule being tossed’! Petanque is developing across the region and we hope to be playing matches with the Clubs in Leeds and Wetherby before the end of the summer.
This summer, the club is also organising a tournament in aid of Saint Michael’s Hospice and is inviting teams of three to sign up as soon as possible. Each team will only have to play a handful of half-hour games between now and September and they can be set for evenings, weekends and lunchtimes.
Teams will be competing for the Saint Michael’s Cup and Plate, and each team is asked for a minimum donation of £15 for the hospice.
For more information, visit www.harrogatempc.org, or call or text 07856 897086.