WORK to transform an artificial football pitch into a brand new sports facility for the Manadon and Honicknowle communities is now under way.
Argyle Community Trust is teaming up with Plymouth City Council to create a new football, cricket and outdoor sports centre that will be one of the best in the city.
View our photo gallery from the launch
Based on the site of the former Ministry of Defence pitches on St Peter’s Road, the Manadon Sports Centre will include:
- a Football Association-standard third generation (3G) artificial playing pitch, together with new floodlights and security fencing
- two new junior grass football pitches
- a new artificial cricket wicket and eight grass wickets
- a two-storey pavilion with a permanent office for the trust, a four changing room complex, a training room and a multi-purpose room
Improvements will also be made to the car park and entrance.
Funded by the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, Sport England and the England and Wales Cricket Board, supported by contributions from the Council and the trust, 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 will take on the lease under a community asset transfer arrangement, along with responsibility for ongoing maintenance and day-to-day operations.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have reached this pivotal stage in the project,” said Argyle Community Trust Manager Mark Lovell. “The project has involved a great deal of planning and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Plymouth City Council and all the partners involved.
“It has been a genuine partnership throughout and a source of huge pride that we have now reached the stage of seeing real construction at the site. There is no doubt the Manadon Sports Centre is the largest project ever undertaken by the Trust and a reflection of the progress we have made over the past decade.
“Working in unison with Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Argyle Football, it will be a very special moment when people of the community get to enjoy this fantastic facility.”
Council Leader and local ward councillor Ian Bowyer said: “It’s so exciting to see work getting under way on what will not only be Plymouth’s first cricket and football development hub but also a massive boost to the area.
“We’re delighted to be working with Argyle Community Trust and other partners to significantly improve one of the priority sites in our Playing Pitch Plan and make a big difference to sports clubs, groups and the local community.
“The new centre will provide the high-quality facility residents deserve, as well as a much-needed indoor space for meetings and social activities. It will also mean there’s a new ground for the Plymouth Civil Service Cricket Club, which currently has to play outside the city boundary and the Roborough Cricket Club.”
Construction begins this week with the replacement of the astroturf, followed by work on the new pavilion, which will get underway in early February.
The Manadon Sports Centre project will create employment, apprenticeship and volunteering opportunities as well as access to training, development and life skills courses for young people.
Clubs and organisations that would like to be involved in plans for the centre or help to promote its activities can email the Argyle Community Trust at email@example.com or call 01752 562561 (extension 4).