A LEISURE centre in Crediton is undergoing a dramatic transformation and a state-of-the-art sports facility is on the way.

Lords Meadow has a sparkling new fitness studio extension, more car parking spaces and indoor training room – and this week announced a successful bid for £87,000 to build an astro turf pitch.

The pitch will replace the tarmac hard court area, which is in a poor state of repair. Work is expected to start soon and people of all ages can test out their skills on it in February next year.

Manager Lee Chester said: “There is loads going on at the leisure centre at the moment and we are delighted to be able to build the new artificial turf pitch.”

To complement the new surface, the floodlighting will be improved.

The grant, from Sport England, involved a lengthy 18-month process and the astro turf will be large enough to cater for two seven-a-side football matches.

Currently, sports teams which wanted to use a similar facility would have to travel to Exeter, Okehampton or Tiverton.

The pitch can be used for a variety of sports, among them netball, basketball and hockey, and children’s activities.

This latest development adds to the leisure centre’s training and meeting room, with kitchen facilities, built earlier this year.

Cllr Bob Deed, cabinet member for leisure, said: “I am delighted that a new allweather pitch at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre will be available early in 2014. I am grateful to Sport England and to Mid Devon District Council for the joint funding of this greatly improved facility for Crediton.”