TOWN Hall chiefs have alerted external funders to the sporting shortfalls in Warrington – with demand for rugby league ‘outstripping capacity’.

The council’s playing pitch strategy came before the cabinet during Monday’s meeting.

It sets out an action plan for sports facilities in Warrington, while aiming to guide future investment and improvements.

The strategy says demand for hockey and cricket, up until 2027, can be met on the current supply of pitches.

However, rugby league, rugby union and football face shortfalls.

Rugby league currently faces a shortfall of 30.5 match equivalent sessions per week – with serious demand for full size floodlit 3G pitches.

Rugby union has a current shortfall of 11 match equivalent sessions per week, while football on grass pitches has a shortfall of 9.5 adult match equivalent sessions per week.

Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, says the demand for rugby league is ‘outstripping our capacity’.

He said: “Warrington has a passion for rugby but we simply haven’t got the infrastructure to accommodate this activity as we would wish to.

“Due to the shortfall, it has created a demand for more floodlit full-size 3G pitches, which would enable more teams to play, particularly in rugby, and ultimately reduce these shortages.”

But Cllr Higgins also alerted cabinet members to the challenges facing football teams in the borough.

He said: “When it comes to football Warrington has a huge representation.

“Warrington sits in close proximity to some of the country’s most successful football clubs – Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.

“These inspirational clubs motivate and stimulate many to get out and participate in football.”

Cllr Higgins told members the strategy will enable the authority to receive the ‘high level’ of investment needed so it can continue to deliver.

He added: “The purpose of this strategy isn’t simply to show you how good we are, or to highlight the number of shortfalls in games, it is to enable us to prove to external funders that we need further investment.”