It’s a been a long and often arduous journey – through the dashed hopes of the Stadium for Cornwall – but the new Truro City Football Club ground, refined to FA perfection, will be ready for the team to start playing their matches in just a few weeks’ time.

We were lucky enough to be among the first to step on the gloriously green pitch, which is part of the new Truro Sports Hub at Langarth, but who among us would be the very first person to make history and kick a ball at the new ground?

I joined Harry Lewis, Langarth Garden Village project director for Cornwall Council’s development company Treveth, and Olly Monk, the council’s portfolio holder for housing, on the pitch. It is just one part of the massive Langarth scheme, which will see the delivery of 4,000 homes on the outskirts of Truro.

The area as a whole is still a building site, with the new Northern Access Road (NAR) being completed just beyond Truro City’s stands. However, a walk through the already-installed turnstile reveals the wow factor.

The pitch, which was being mown as we arrived, is stunning, putting the club’s old Treyew Road surface to shame. It meets FA specifications to ensure Truro City’s rise through the ranks and will see the team kick off for the first time in September.

Treveth's Harry Lewis, left, and Cornwall councillor Olly Monk on the new pitch at Truro City's ground at Truro Sports Hub
Treveth's Harry Lewis, left, and Cornwall councillor Olly Monk on the new pitch at Truro City's ground at Truro Sports Hub (Picture: LDRS)

The floodlights loom large and the ‘North Stand’ structure is in place with all seats, clad in the club’s traditional red and black, installed and bearing the TCFC legend. Covered standing facilities behind the eastern goal are now in place, along with perimeter fences for the playing area, hard standing all around the pitch and men’s, ladies’ and disabled toilets on site.

All that’s missing are the goals, but that didn’t stop some grown men getting very excited about who was going to be the first to kick a ball. Not me, as my footballing skills are useless and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of the great and good from Cornwall Council and Cormac, the local authority’s civil engineering contractor.

So it was over to Harry and Olly and there was no stopping them, even with their hard hats and PPE. They weren’t bad either, a few keen headers between them, but no real threat to Connor Riley-Lowe and the Truro boys who are currently playing at a temporary facility.

After getting his breath, Harry said: “It’s been a long journey and we’re very proud to be standing here on this pitch today where we can say Truro City Football Club will be playing from September. The pitch is in and preliminary stands but as the master developers we’ve still got a lot of work to do with the owners of Truro City Football Club, which is going on in the background.

“The main point is Truro City needs to be playing football here in September which they’re going to do. That’s on.”

Speaking about the Langarth Garden Village concept as a whole, Conservative councillor Olly added: “It’s amazing how vastly complicated the process has been from its conception to when we start delivering and even this phase. People don’t see the work that goes into it.

“What you see here is fantastic for fans of Truro City and football fans throughout Cornwall as well. It provides a 21st century facility, but importantly it opens up the door for 4,000 homes, over 30 per cent of which will be affordable and give access to local people to get on the housing ladder.”

Treveth's Harry Lewis, left, and Cornwall councillor Olly Monk have a kickabout on the new pitch
Harry Lewis, left, and Olly Monk have a kickabout on the new pitch (Picture: LDRS)

One person who’s particularly delighted by the ground’s progress is Marc Rose, Cormac’s site agent for the project. A former player with Falmouth Town, he also refereed one of the last games at Truro City’s former ground at Treyew Road.

He was jokingly disgruntled to be beaten to the first kick on the pitch, but his revenge will be sweet. He said: “I’m absolutely over the moon with the way it’s looking. It’s a real pleasure – I’m a football man myself, so having involvement in something you’re interested in is every boy’s dream.

“I’ve had a football in the boot of the car since just before Christmas and I’ve been beaten to it, so I’m devastated, but I’ll still be the first person to score a goal. I promised various people that would be the case and be my little claim to fame.”

He said of the almost finished product: “It’s breathtaking. My involvement started back in October during its infancy where we were very much a mud bath when we were doing all the drainage. Our entrance was through the NAR project and not through the entrance we have now, so even getting in was quite a feat just before Christmas.

“It’s been a very different way of working in my time with Cormac – not only working with the football club really closely, they’ve been brilliant, but with the FA deadlines as well. The weather we’ve had obviously had an effect but it was nationwide, so the FA have been really good and understanding, allowing us extra time to make sure everything gets across the line.”

All of the team working on it stress this is only the beginning for a very long future for the ground, which will have initial capacity for 3,000 but could grow and even become a venue for large events such as big-name concerts.

The second part of the Sports Hub, an all-weather floodlit 3G pitch for use by the local community, is currently being constructed alongside Truro City’s pitch. Plans to provide a permanent club house and facilities, as well as community rooms on site, will require funding to be identified from a variety of other sources. A separate planning application for that element is expected in the coming months.

Before all of that, Truro City’s fans will be in for a treat come September.