THE new home of Welsh football in Newport will get up to £450,000 funding from the Welsh Assembly it was announced at the opening of its artificial pitch yesterday.

First minister Carywn Jones said money would go towards the overall development cost of the new centre at Newport International Sports Village, Spytty.

He joined Football Association Wales’ chief executive, Jonathan Ford, at the site yesterday as he handed over ownership of the 3G pitch to Newport City Council as part of the deal to develop the new facility.

The 3G pitch uses the latest synthetic turf and provides an excellent playing surface for young players to develop their skills even in periods of rainy weather.

Built by Magor-based South Wales Sports Grounds, the newfacility will be open for community hire but the FAW and Wales Football Trust have priority use.

The first minister said: “This new pitch is a truly first class facility that will benefit both our national players and the residents of Newport as it will be available for community use.

“All of us are united in our ambition to see our national team succeed in international competitions, while also encouraging more people to get involved in football at a grass roots level.”

Councillor Bob Bright welcomed the Welsh government’s investment, which he said would bring sporting and business opportunities not only to Newport but to the region and the whole of Wales.

Following the handover, children from local schools had the first opportunity to play on the new surface.