Work on Central Park’s new Community Sports Hub and tennis courts is underway.
Situated in the heart of the park on the site of current bowling pavilion, the hub will complement the current bowling greens as well as the refurbished sports plateau by adding changing rooms, accessible toilets and storage facilities; opening up the park to a wider range of outdoor sports.
The Community Sports Hub is being made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The site will be used by Devon Junior and Minor Football League, Plymouth and West Devon League, Plymouth University Football and Rugby teams, Friends of Central Park, tennis coaching providers and the Central Park Bowling Association.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet member for Street Scene and the Environment, said: “I am really pleased to see work begin on this important project.
“Sports are key to ensuring that a wide range of people use the park and encourage their friends and family to use it, too.”
Councillor Pete Smith, Deputy Leader, said: “I’d like to thank the Football Foundation for their significant support in making this project a reality.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The news that works have officially begun on Plymouth City Council’s new facility will undoubtedly provide a boost for grassroots sport in Plymouth. Funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, is playing a vital role in making the project a reality.
“Thanks to their investment, Plymouth City Council and the local football leagues are one example of many clubs and organisations across England set to benefit from a state-of-the-art new facility – in this case, a Community Sports Hub. These facilities not only act as excellent physical and social outlets for communities, but also provide new jobs – during construction and in the years to come, with people needed to support sites in delivering safe and positive environments for any user.”
As part of the plans to create the hub, the existing pavilion will remain in place. Upgrades will be made to the toilets, dry changing rooms and the kitchen and heating installed so that a wider range of community and sports groups will be able to use the space all year round.
The extension will see additional wet-changing facilities, designed to Football Foundation specifications, join the current dry changing rooms and two further rooms for referees and the ambulant disabled. This will allow the hub to be used by football, rugby and cricket teams playing on the sports plateau, accommodate those using the bowls and tennis facilities adjacent to the hub as well as opening use of the building up to other community groups and organisations.
A main entrance will be incorporated into the north-facing side of the building to meet a new pathway where a small grassed public space, suitable for over-spill from events at the hub, will be created. The current the bowling greens to the west of the hub will be retained and upgraded.
The new hub has been designed by Erect Architecture and LDA Design.