ANGLERS are eager to cast off following the near-completion of a £100,000 fish pond, near York, writes Matthew Woodcock.

Members of the York and District Amalgamation of Anglers started the project three years ago to extend ponds at Hessay.

The organisation was awarded a £5,000 Awards for All grant to get it off the ground.

The pond has been named Laybourne Lakes in tribute to George Laybourne - the only York angler to ever win the All England Championship in 1946.

His grandson is set to officially open the facility which has 109 fishing planks, 12 of which are for disabled anglers

More than 2,200 trees have also been planted at the site, which will host its first competition on May 18, before opening to members later in the year.

"All the hard work has been worth it," said club secretary Bob Hutchinson. "I'm a very proud man."

Updated: 10:23 Wednesday, April 16, 2003