YOUNG footballers in Ilminster were jumping for joy this week after it was agreed to repair their pitch damaged by the fairground earlier this year.

Large chunks were taken out of the pitch at the recreation ground following the fair in June, sparking fears it may affect the start of the playing season as youngsters ran the risk of injury.

But Ilminster town councillors voted in favour of tackling the problem and have agreed to pay £1,400 to help re-seed and level the pitch.

Ilminster Youth Football Club chairman Jamie Lee said he was extremely thankful the work will soon go ahead.

He added: “It was the weight of the equipment that was stood on the pitch for a week which caused a big rutt.

“Gradually, with the wet weather, it has not been as bad but it still does need repairing.

“We did question why the fair was going on the pitches and we were told by the town council it was a one-off and that they would repair any damage caused. We thank the council for agreeing to repair the pitch – this is very positive news.”

The club has about 150 children aged six to 18, including boys’ and girls’ teams that use the facilities on the recreation ground.

The cost of the repairs is £1,400 but town councillors agreed the company running the fair should forfeit its £400 deposit.

Cllr Carol Goodall said she visited the ground and her assessment was that it was not suitable for youngsters or adults to play football.

She added: “It is quite rough to put it mildly in some places.”

Normally, councillors would get quotations from three companies before taking on work around the town but they agreed to accept the fee, on a one-off basis, in a bid to get the work done quickly for the start of the season.