Football’s coming home in Exeter as a new all-weather pitch gets the go-ahead.

Exeter City Community Trust is taking over the lease of the King George V playing fields at Countess Wear from the city council, pledging to transform the tired and dated facilities into a paradise for players and supporters.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity,” said Cllr Duncan Wood (Labour, Pinhoe).

The playing fields currently accommodate 13 grass pitches and changing rooms. There are also two tennis courts, play areas, toilets, and a grove of veteran oak trees.

The 40-acre site is also popular with dog walkers.

Cllr Wood went on: “It’s a fantastic resource, but the facilities are tired and dated. We are going to see new opportunities for people to get involved in a wide range of activities – not just football.

“We will still have this massive green space. You can walk your dog there. You can access the field. Nothing changes, but we’ll have a partner committed to providing the sort of resources the city needs.”

The trust has begun preliminary work towards improving the pitches and restoring the pavilion. It has plans for a full-size floodlit 3G artificial pitch and four small, covered stands. There will be new play areas, a sports hall, cycle paths and parking spaces.

It will be the first community-based 3G pitch in the city.

The Football Foundation and the Devon FA are also involved in planning the new facilities.

The council’s property manager Michael Carson told the executive committee that the trust needed to have the lease to unlock funding to build the new facilities.

There will be a full public consultation in the autumn.

Cllr Bob Foale (Labour, Alphington) backed the plans, and said: “More people are playing football now: men, women, boys and girls, and even older people like me.

“What we lack are 3G pitches. For the capital city of Devon it is a great shame that we don’t have these facilities in place.

“I hope they will be there before I hang my boots up!”