Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham: Forest Rec sports area set for £2.6 million transformation

The ageing parts of the sports zone at the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham will be transformed with a brand new all-weather football pitch and an extended community building in a £2.6m regeneration project.

The initial Forest Recreation Ground Sports Zone was completed in 2015, while the multi-use activity pitch was constructed back in 2007 using funding from Sports England.

The lower pitch is within the sports zone, and helps provide a range of football development and other sports activities for both the local community and teams across the city.

However according to Nottingham City Council the lower sand and artificial grass football pitch is now “past its operational best and requires replacement” and the existing community building is no longer considered adequate.

Under the plans, which are set to be discussed and approved at an Executive Board meeting on March 19, the existing sand-based football pitch will be transformed into a new £1m third-generation (3G) rubber crumb football pitch and a 90-metre square extension will be added to the community building.

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Access and fencing will also be improved.

“The multi-use activity pitch is now in need of replacement, and as the facility is part of the Forest Sport Zone (FSZ), the opportunity to upgrade the facility has been identified as a more suitable option rather than just renewing a sand-based pitch,” documents say.

“The FSZ has been directly managed by Nottingham Forest Community Trust since its construction in 2015. It has become a very well-used and integral asset for the community.

“It has developed a national reputation and is renowned as being one of the most heavily utilised football multi-use sports facilities in the country.

“The proposals will continue to meet the local demand and help to improve the availability to 3G facilities and provide improved access arrangements around the site.”

The sports zone facility is managed by the council in partnership with the Nottingham Forest Community Trust, which has pledged £300,000 in funding for the project.

Documents show Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will also be pledging £500,000 alongside almost £1.8m in additional funding from the Football Foundation, which is subject to confirmation following a request.

A condition and contractual obligation of the Sport England grant for the sports zone and pitch was that the council should set aside money to help replace and upgrade the existing sand-based pitch when it came to the end of its life.

From this fund £260,000 will also be used to help pay for the project.

Under the funding terms from NTU, it will be granted a licence giving it the right to use the pitches for 26 weeks per year, based on university term periods, and 21 hours per week of usage including weekday evenings and each Wednesday from noon.

Documents show construction should begin in around February 2025 and the project completed by August 2025.

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