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£250,000 agreed for sports village

Times Echo and Life / All News / £250,000 agreed for sports village
4 months, 1 day ago1 Comment.
7 APR

£250,000 agreed for sports village

By timesecholife on in All News, Leek news

A council has set aside £250,000 to spend on the first phase of a ‘sports village’ project in a Moorlands town. Members of the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) Cabinet met last Tuesday (March 29) to debate and sign off the funding for a project entitled ‘Birchall Sports Village’ for Leek.

A council has set aside £250,000 to spend on the first phase of a ‘sports village’ project in a Moorlands town.

Members of the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) Cabinet met last Tuesday (March 29) to debate and sign off the funding for a project entitled ‘Birchall Sports Village’ for Leek.

Councillors were presented with a report about the project whichsought approval from the SMDC Cabinet for “capital funds to deliver phase one of a new ‘Birchall Sports Village’ project in Leek.”

Options considered included: 1) To approve for the creation of a new ’Birchall Sports Village’ as detailed in the report and approve the request for £250,000 to complete phase one of the project as detailed in the report (Recommended by SMDC officers); 2) To not approve plans to develop the Birchall Sports Village as proposed in the report (Not Recommended).

The report author stated: “Birchall Playing Fields has long been the hub for local amateur football and Staffordshire Moorlands Athletics Club. There is a modern pavilion located on site consisting of changing facilities, social area, and an adjoining kitchen. The car park for the site has space for approximately 100 vehicles and was resurfaced and relined in 2019/20. This site is currently managed and maintained by Lex Leisure via the leisure contract with the council.

The overall purpose of the site, the condition of current facilities and the greater role it could play in helping to deliver the objectives within the council’s Physical Activity and Sport Strategy has been reviewed by officers, from which a new vision to create ‘Birchall Sports Village’ has been developed.”

They continued: “The new vision includes developing a more diverse range of facilities at the site in addition to making improvements to the existing facilities which will help to encourage greater use throughout weekdays and at weekends, improve accessibility to the grassed areas and, by doing so, create more opportunities for people to be active.

In developing the new vision, officers have used a range of evidence sources and strategic documents alongside conversations with strategic partners and potential funders. The council has been approached several times by residents to consider how greater use of the site can be encouraged and the new vision brings the feedback from each of these aspects into a clear plan.”

They added: “It is therefore proposed to initially undertake improvements to the Birchall site as phase one of the project. This will incorporate improvements to the running track and the addition of a new perimeter trail and outdoor fitness equipment. These are detailed further in Section 9 of the report, alongside the justification and benefits of undertaking such works.

In order to progress these phase one works, additional feasibility and procurement work is required to gain a final tendered costs for installing the pathway in the two surfacing options and trim trail equipment. However, based on current working knowledge, initial cost estimates for completing the work are detailed below and approvals are being requested on this basis. Should these amounts prove to be insufficient once further feasibility and procurement work is completed, the project will be reviewed and a suitable way forward agreed: Perimeter pathway preferred option: £150,000 (tarmac); Trim trail equipment and distance markers: £60,000.

Whilst phase one is being progressed, further work to develop plans for phase two will continue, including conversations with local stakeholders and partners such as Staffordshire FA, the Football Foundation, existing users, prospective users, and Lex Leisure.”

Those present at the Cabinet meeting voted: “That the proposal to create a new ‘Birchall Sports Village’, encompassing two phases as detailed in the report be approved.”

And that the request for £250,000 to complete phase one of the project be approved.

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1 Comment

  • Good, it is good to see the council doing something for young Leekensians.
    Written by Shirley Birch, April 9, 2022 - Reply

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