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Senior dignitaries open state-of the-art sports complex

Published on: 06 Jun 2017

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State of the art sports pitch opened by senior dignitaries at new complex in Lockleaze

One of the sports pitches at a new £5.2million sports complex in Lockleaze that are set to transform community activities in the area have been launched by senior dignitaries.

Various community activities accompanied the launch with the local community getting a taste for what is to come as the project continues to progress.

The RFU 6 Nations Trophy was also on show to mark the opening of such an important community project.

Bristol & District Rugby Football Combination has joined forces with Bristol City Council to develop the new modern two-storey clubhouse and two all-weather pitches for rugby and football, replacing 1950s changing rooms and under-utilised, out of date playing fields.

The funds for this £5.2m project have come from the sale for housing development of part of the Combinations land. University of the West of England have recently joined the project bringing further capital and they will use the facility for student sport mid-week.

Work began at the end of 2016 on the council’s playing fields off Bonnington Walk, which is home to Bishopston RFC, and the adjacent fields owned by Bristol & District Rugby Football Combination, which are home to Ashley Down Old Boys RFC and Lockleaze Community Football Club.

The first phase will create the new clubhouse with improved changing facilities, a social area and two all-weather pitches. The existing grass pitches, three rugby and one football, will be upgraded and there will be an outdoor Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), a dog walking area & trim trail, safe cycling routes and adequate parking.

The second phase, for which an additional £4.5m funding is being sought, will include an indoor fitness centre, a sports hall, squash courts and further community facilities. The rugby all-weather pitch will be completed by the end of April before a formal opening of the full operational facility later this year.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Redesigning community spaces to get more value out of them will be crucial for Bristol in future so I’m pleased to see this approach is already in action in Lockleaze. This is a great success story for the local community, especially in our year as the European City of Sport. It will help more people of all ages coming together and enjoying sporting activities, with all the health and social benefits that brings. I’m looking forward to seeing these clubs flourish and continuing to build on the great success stories communities are creating in sport across the city.”

N A (Sandy) Mitchell, who is Chairman of the Trustees Lockleaze Ground and Vice-chairman of the Bristol District Rugby Football Combination, said: “A new sports facility in Lockleaze will have huge benefits for the local community by widening the range of activities available. It will be much more socially inclusive and bring both significant health and employment benefits. This scheme will provide rugby, sport in general and the local community with a facility which will become a home for sport and community activities in Lockleaze and the surrounding area for many years to come. The Bristol District Rugby Football Combination are pleased that they are able to build on the foresight of those members of the organisation, who nearly 70 years ago purchased land in Lockleaze for the physical well-being of the people of Bristol and the surrounding area.”

With the assistance of Bristol based building consultants HDP Associates and sports pitch specialists Agility Sports Facility Development two contracts have been let by Bristol City Council. The first for the construction of the buildings, designed by O’LearyGoss architects and built by D R Jones Yeovil Limited (known as Jones Building Group), and the second for the delivery of the sports pitches and groundworks by MJ Church.

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