MYSTERY surrounds the “number of factors” that have delayed development of Claines Lane – but Worcestershire FA remains confident of completing by the end of September.

The county association-managed football facility is due for a spruce up this summer with planning permission for a new 3G pitch, floodlights and new changing and office facilities granted in December 2018.

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Chief executive Nichola Trigg targeted closing “in the middle of May 2019” in order to be “operational for football by the end of September” but work has yet to start.

That factor is of particular importance to Worcester Raiders, the most senior club playing at the site.

Promotion to the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division requires operational floodlights by September 30 to avoid league sanctions in line with FA rules.

Failure to ensure the lights are operational by March 31 would result in relegation.

“There are a number of factors that affect building and are out of our hands,” said Martin Collier, football development manager at Worcestershire FA and the man working closely with Trigg on the project.

“The end of September is the aim point we have given our contractors to finish and we are confident they will do that.

“They could encounter something that may change that but we are confident about meeting the deadline we have given.”

Collier, who admitted progress levels are “not where we wanted them to be”, declined to specify the “number of factors” behind work not beginning other than to say it had not been held up by funding streams.

“They are not the issue,” he said. “The funding streams we anticipated being in place are.”

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One of the stumbling blocks is likely to be the amendment to planning permission submitted to Worcester City Council to shift the position of the 3G pitch by a small amount.

Trigg said the discharge of conditions – evidencing how the project would meet with criteria set out in the planning permission – had been or were about to be submitted for the project while acknowledging the "minor" tweak to plans.

Various funding streams are being sought for the work which will benefit the nine teams playing from the Worcester site.

Asked whether the county FA or the clubs would be accessing that funding, Trigg said: “The main ones are ours. There is a small one through Worcester Raiders which is for a stand, that is part-funded and they have to match contributions.

“They (Raiders) are installing the base. It is not just cash sometimes, it can be goods or labour and it will be a combination of all three of those for them.

“The 3G, lights and the building are all ours. There is some minor stuff that different clubs are contributing either in kind or donating. For instance a pay booth is being donated to us.”