Community sport in Middlesex has been given a major boost as construction works have now started on a new multi-million pound Parklife Football Hub in Gunnersbury Park.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council and Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, marked the official start of works by turning the first sod at Gunnersbury Park in London recently (Friday 10 August). Also in attendance were representatives from the organisations that have helped to fund the project.
As part of the works, Hounslow and Ealing Council will install two brand new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGP), grass football pitches, an eight-team changing pavilion, sports hall (suitable for Futsal), gym and all necessary ancillary facilities.
The project has been made possible thanks to a £4m grant from the Parklife Football Hubs Programme. The Parklife project is a partnership between Hounslow and Ealing Councils, local football leagues, the Premier League, The FA, the Government, the Football Foundation and Sport England.
With nearly 1.8m people participating in some form of football weekly, the aim of the Parklife Programme is to increase the number of 3G AGPs, facilities and participation programmes available across the country. The programme puts particular emphasis on funding in areas where pressures on the local game are greatest.
The Parklife Hub at Gunnersbury Park was the first identified in London and is part of a much larger scheme to regenerate the park. The project has developed over several years and has worked closely with Middlesex County FA to establish key football partnerships. Through this, Brentford FC Community Trust will deliver a number of schemes at the new site.
The regeneration work at Gunnersbury Park has received financial funding provided by the following organisations: The Football Foundation, Ealing Council, Hounslow Council, Sport England, University of West London, International School of London, Brentford FC Community Trust, HLF Funding for Archive, London Marathon Charitable Trust, The Lawn Tennis Association and The England Cricket Board.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 237 grants worth £18.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £69.6m across the whole of Middlesex.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “We are delighted to see work starting on this Parklife Football Hub. Once completed, this facility will offer our residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in football at the very highest level and will inspire generations of athletes to come.
“We are indebted to the Football Association and the Premier League and to all our funding sponsors for making this vision a reality in the spectacular setting of Gunnersbury Park.”
Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, said: “Thanks to this latest development, state-of-the-art new football facilities are coming to Gunnersbury Park and will provide opportunities for local people of all ages and backgrounds to play football and stay active and healthy.
“We are committed to providing local people with opportunities to take part in a wide range of sports. Whether you want to play football, cricket or tennis, use the gym or enjoy a walk in this wonderful green space, Gunnersbury Park is providing every opportunity to take part in sports and activities for residents.
“The multi-million pound Gunnersbury Restoration Project is bringing the park’s past and future together with state-of-the-art sports facilities alongside renovation of its beautiful and historically significant buildings and landscape.”
First published: 14/08/2018 on www.footballfoundation.org.uk