New future in pipeline for sports complex

An exciting new future for Charles Hill Sports ground could be secured if Council approves £1 million plans to transform the site. In September the Council were approached by a social enterprise led by Heanor Town Football Club to take over the running of the complex on a lease basis and to continue its use as a community facility.

The deal would mean that the complex could offer a range of indoor and outdoor sporting activities for the whole of the community and end months of uncertainty about the future of the site. It follows the Council's appeal earlier this year to community groups to come forward to maintain its use as a community facility, which currently includes a sports hall and sports pitches on a site off Flamsteed Avenue in Loscoe near Heanor.

An assessment earlier this year deemed that the existing sports hall was beyond repair and the Council will now seek to demolish the building, which has been unused since March 2011.

The exciting proposals would mean the creation of an 88 metre by 52 metre floodlit synthetic pitch for football and rugby training and a community room that could also be used for functions and meetings as well as indoor sports and other activities. A report to Council also looks for approval to carry out a technical evaluation to progress with other plans including replacing the hall with a new sports pavilion and changing rooms, improvements to the existing grass pitches and the formation of a new footpath linking the nearby Loscoe CE Primary School. Other proposals include a 10 piece outdoor green gym trim trail.

Councillor Chris Short, Cabinet Member for Active and Healthier Places to Live said:
"It's still early days but this development is exciting news for the whole community involved.  Funding relies on other commitments being realised but the commencement of the Synthetic Pitch represents a major commitment by the Council to sporting facilities for our residents and reassurance that we're serious about investing in the health and wellbeing of people in Amber Valley."

Office accommodation could also be included as part of the development to attract businesses to use the site which could even be used as a 'touch down' workstation for council workers.

Notes to editors:
Planning permission was first granted for the Synthetic Pitch in 2008 so if the plans are approved, and subject to funding, it's hoped  this new facility would be available by late 2012 subject to an extension of the planning application.  It is hoped the rest of the developments would be in place by 2013.

NB Heanor Town Football club have agreed to explore alternative avenues of funding including an application to Sports England's Inspired Facilities second round programme which opens in February 2012.

For further information please contact Luke Barrett Communications Manager on 01773 841 655 or email luke.barrett@ambervalley.gov.uk

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