Monday 20 May 2024
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Nottingham

£2.6 million Forest Sports Zone plans get the green light

Nottingham City Council is ready to embark on the next stage of developing the Forest Sports Zone, having received approval from Executive Board.

Located on the Forest Recreation Ground, where Nottingham Forest Football Club was founded 150 years ago, it comprises a full-size floodlit all-weather 3G pitch, a floodlit sand-based multi-activity pitch, and a new pavilion with six changing rooms, catering facilities and indoor space for education, club and social activities.

Since its construction in 2015, in partnership with Nottingham Forest Community Trust (NFCT), the Forest Sports Zone has become a premier community facility and provides a range of football development and other sports activities, for both the local community and teams from around the city.

However, nine years on, the lower sand-based pitch which was originally funded by Sport England, is now past its operational best and requires replacement.

As a condition of the Sport England grant, the council agreed to set up a Forest Multi-Use Activity Pitch ‘sinking fund’ to help pay for the replacement of the sand-based pitch.

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A CGI of the sports zone following its planned 2.5m transformation 1

To enable the authority to further improve the facilities at the site, £1.8million has been secured from the Football Foundation and £530,00 from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), who are keen to be involved at this site to help provide use for both the university and the local community.

Councillor Corall Jenkins, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment, Waste Services and Parks at Nottingham City Council said: “We are very excited to have received approval to go ahead with improvement developments for the Forest Recreation Ground Sports Zone.

“This project funding is essential to drive forward the improvement of the facilities which are so important to young people in the community and city-wide. We look forward to working with partners and funders to deliver another project that really benefits all our citizens, as well as visitors from outside the city.”

Calum Osborne, Chief Executive Officer at Nottingham Forest Community Trust, said: “I am excited to announce the development of The Forest Sports Zone, currently one of the busiest community football facilities in the UK.

“Following the original development in 2015, The Forest Sports Zone has been a hub for physical activity and community football in the heart of our city, engaging more than 2,500 local people each week and helping to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Together with The Football Foundation, Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Forest Community Trust have collectively committed significant investment to further enhance the facilities to offer flexible and accessible spaces for children, young people and members of the community to take part in physical activity and both recreational and organised football.

“Locally and nationally, there is a lack of high-quality facilities for people to play football, so to get this project over the line, at a place that Nottingham Forest Football Club once called home a great result for local football and our communities.”

The plans were given the go-ahead by the council’s Executive Board on Tuesday afternoon.

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