Last night at the Open Meeting in the Blues Bar, Chester FC’s Community Trust unveiled its vision for a new £1.6 million community sports hub in Chester.
The charitable arm of Chester FC is collaborating with Cheshire West & Chester Council on plans to develop King George V playing fields in Blacon.
Subject to planning, the scheme will include a new full size floodlit 3G pitch, improvement of the existing grass pitches, a new Clubhouse with changing rooms and community facilities, refurbishment of the existing Pavilion to include an education suite and additional car parking and access to the site.
The sports hub will provide much needed facilities for grassroots clubs and leagues, as well as delivering wider community benefits including improved health and wellbeing, increased participation in sport and new employment and education opportunities.
The council is investing in the project as part of its £2 million commitment to improve football facilities across the borough with additional funding from national governing bodies and section 106 agreements.
Businessman Stuart Murphy has agreed to donate £200,000 to the scheme and the Community Trust now aims to raise £300,000 through public donations, fundraising events and working with local businesses to bring the plans to fruition.
Jim Green, chief executive of Chester FC Community Trust, said: “This is a hugely exciting project and will create an outstanding sports facility in the heart of the Chester community.
“We have worked closely with key stakeholders in developing the scheme and we believe it will have huge benefits for the community and grassroots sport in Cheshire West.
“King George V is a prominent site in Blacon but it is underused and in need of improvement and investment. The sports hub will address this and breathe new life into the area.
“It has taken a lot of work to get to this point but the really hard work starts now to raise the money needed to make this fantastic facility a reality and we hope the community will get behind our campaign.”
Preston-based Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has been appointed to develop a masterplan for the site and the Community Trust will now be consulting with local residents, clubs, leagues and partners on the proposed scheme.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “The Council is working with Chester FC Community Trust to improve facilities at King George V playing fields in Blacon.
“We are committed to investing in grassroots football and provide residents with the means to be more active. These proposals will offer people the use of modern facilities and give them the opportunity to lead thriving lives.”
Donations to the project can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/kgvsportshub.
If you would like to know more about the plans, have any questions or would like to be involved in the project, please contact Community Trust chief executive Jim Green on 01244 371376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a dedicated website to the project which will provide updates, how to donate, how to get involved and faqs. Please go to http://kgvsportshub.co.uk/