WORK to transform an artificial football pitch into a brand new sports facility for the Manadon and Honicknowle communities is now under way.
Argyle Community Trust is teaming up with Plymouth City Council to create a new football, cricket and outdoor sports centre that will be one of the best in the city.
Based on the site of the former Ministry of Defence pitches on St Peter’s Road, the Manadon Sports Centre will include:
- a Football Association-standard third generation (3G) artificial playing pitch, together with new floodlights and security fencing
- two new junior grass football pitches
- a new artificial cricket wicket and eight grass wickets
- a two-storey pavilion with a permanent office for the trust, a four changing room complex, a training room and a multi-purpose room
Improvements will also be made to the car park and entrance.
Funded by the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, Sport England and the England and Wales Cricket Board, supported by contributions from the Council and the trust, the new facility will inspire people from across Plymouth and beyond and is expected to increase the number of people taking part in physical activity at the site from 17,500 a year to 30,000.
Argyle Community Trust will take on the lease under a community asset transfer arrangement, along with responsibility for ongoing maintenance and day-to-day operations.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have reached this pivotal stage in the project,” said Argyle Community Trust Manager Mark Lovell. “The project has involved a great deal of planning and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Plymouth City Council and all the partners involved.
“It has been a genuine partnership throughout and a source of huge pride that we have now reached the stage of seeing real construction at the site. There is no doubt the Manadon Sports Centre is the largest project ever undertaken by the Trust and a reflection of the progress we have made over the past decade.
“Working in unison with Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Argyle Football, it will be a very special moment when people of the community get to enjoy this fantastic facility.”
Council Leader and local ward councillor Ian Bowyer said: “It’s so exciting to see work getting under way on what will not only be Plymouth’s first cricket and football development hub but also a massive boost to the area.
“We’re delighted to be working with Argyle Community Trust and other partners to significantly improve one of the priority sites in our Playing Pitch Plan and make a big difference to sports clubs, groups and the local community.
“The new centre will provide the high-quality facility residents deserve, as well as a much-needed indoor space for meetings and social activities. It will also mean there’s a new ground for the Plymouth Civil Service Cricket Club, which currently has to play outside the city boundary and the Roborough Cricket Club.”
Construction begins this week with the replacement of the astroturf, followed by work on the new pavilion, which will get underway in early February.
The Manadon Sports Centre project will create employment, apprenticeship and volunteering opportunities as well as access to training, development and life skills courses for young people.
Clubs and organisations that would like to be involved in plans for the centre or help to promote its activities can email the Argyle Community Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org call 01752 562561 (extension 4).
Manadon Sports Centre - Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is It?
The Manadon Sports Centre is on the site of the former RNEC Manadon, off St Peters Road, Plymouth, PL5 3JG, adjacent to Plymouth Parkway Football Club.
What Will It Include?
• A Football Association-standard artificial playing pitch and new floodlights toreplace the current sand-dressed Astroturf, which is not fit for purpose;
• Two new youth grassroots football pitches;
• A new artificial cricket wicket and eight grass wickets;
• A two-storey pavilion with: an office for the Argyle Community Trust; Toilets; New four changing room complex (built to Football Foundation and England and Wales Cricket Board guidelines); Training room; Large function room; Catering facilities.
• Improved car park and entrance, with security gates;
• A security fence to protect the grass pitches, with room around the outside for dog-walking;
• Open access at designated times.
At a later stage, we hope to provide:
• A multi-use games arena next to the 3G pitch;
• Four-lane cricket nets for training.
When Will It Open?
The project completion date is November 2018 but it is anticipated the artificial pitch will be available by early spring 2018.
How will it benefit local residents?
• improve the current site and make it more secure;
• provide first class facilities for the local community;
• increase opportunities to participate in sport and recreation within the local area;
• provide accessible sports facilities;
• be staffed every day, giving the site a greater presence within the local community.
How Can I Book It?
The Trust is currently tendering for a bookings platform. In the meantime, you can email requests to email@example.com. Identified grassroots clubs through the Devon FA will be given priority.
Who Are the Key Partners?
- Plymouth City Council;
- Argyle Community Trust;
- Football Foundation;
- England and Wales Cricket Board;
- Sport England;
- Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough Cricket Club;
- Devon Football Association;
- Devon ECB.
When and How Can Residents Find Out More and Give Feedback?
You can view the plans at https://argylecommunitytrust.co.uk/new-direction-trust/. There will also be some ‘meet the partners’ events to showcase the project and give people a chance to ask questions and share their views.
Will Argyle’s First Team Be Using It?
It is a community facility first and foremost but first-team players and management will attend community events at the site. The team may also undertake some open training events at the site to engage with the local community.
What Will Happen When Plymouth Parkway Have a Match?
Parking spaces will be made available for Plymouth Parkway and spectators, with a cordoned-off area for users of the facility.
Who is Going to Be Playing Cricket at the Site?
The aim is to bring more cricket teams back into the city and we are delighted that Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough Cricket Club will reside at Manadon. Their aim will be to increase participation in cricket.
How Can I Join in with Cricket or Football If I Am Not Part of a Team?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 562561 (extension 162) and the Trust will provide you with contact details for clubs in the local area. We would love to hear from you, whatever your age, ability or gender. If you are interested in taking part in football or cricket activities or fun fitness associated with these sports, get in touch.
How Much Will It Cost?
We are just finalising costs, which will be published shortly on the Argyle Community Trust website: www.argylecommunitytrust.co.uk.
How Will You Give Priority to Clubs?
We will liaise with the local county FA to accommodate as many clubs as possible. If the site is unavailable, we will work with other community sports facility sites and schools to provide alternatives.
Will Priority be Given to Local Residents?
Priority times and hours will be available for local residents.
What Will the Opening Hours Be?
The artificial pitch will be open at the following times:
- Monday to Friday, 9am-10pm;
- Saturday, 9am-7pm;
- Sunday, 10am-7pm.
The pavilion opening hours will be confirmed at a later date.
How Do We Report an Issue?
The Trust is appointing a facilities manager for the site. In the meantime please contact Mark Lovell on 01752 562561 (option 4) or email email@example.com.
What activities will be available for children?
Multiple activities will be on offer for young people and children throughout the year, including turn up and play football and multi-sport sessions, cricket, health sessions and more.
Will there be activities for the over 60s?
Yes, we will have a number of activities.