Work to create a brand new sports facility for the Manadon and Honicknowle communities reached a major milestone yesterday as young footballers took to its artificial playing pitches for the first time.
The Football Association-standard third generation pitch, which also boasts new floodlights and security fencing, is now open for use – marking the completion of the project’s first phase.
Two junior grass football pitches will follow, along with a new artificial cricket wicket and eight grass wickets, along with a two-storey pavilion with office space, changing rooms, a training room and a multi-purpose room. Improvements will also be made to the car park and entrance.
Run by the Argyle Community Trust in partnership with Plymouth City Council, the Manadon Sports and Community Hub will be one of the best sports centres in the city and transform the previously tired and run-down football pitch site.
The new facility will inspire people from across Plymouth and beyond and is expected to increase the number of people taking part in physical activity at the site from 17,500 a year to 30,000.
Argyle Community Trust Manager Mark Lovell said: “Reaching this point in the project is a huge milestone and we are delighted to finally see our youth sports teams taking their first sessions on these brand new pitches.
“This project is the largest project ever undertaken by the trust and the work we’ve done with the Council to get to this point has been fantastic. We know that this facility will be a huge benefit to the local and wider community and we’re thrilled to now see it in use.”
Deputy Council Leader Pete Smith said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see young footballers finally playing on the high quality pitches they deserve. This marks the first stage in delivering what will be the city’s first cricket and football development hub and a massive boost to the area.
“We’re really pleased to be teaming up with the Argyle Community Trust and other partners to provide a facility that will make such a big difference to sports clubs and groups, as well as the local community.”
The Manadon Sports and Community Hub is being funded by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, Sport England and the England and Wales Cricket Board, supported by contributions from the Council and the trust (who will take on the site’s lease under a community asset transfer arrangement, along with responsibility for ongoing maintenance and day-to-day operations).
Work to build the new pavilion will get under way shortly – further details will be announced soon.
For more information or to make a booking email the Argyle Community Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 562561 (extension 4).