Decisions take Sports and Community Village vision forward

2 December 2016

The vision of a Sports and Community Village in Newark has moved a step closer following two key decisions made by Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Policy and Finance Committee.

Nottinghamshire YMCA, which had submitted its business case and vision for the development to councillors, has been appointed the council’s partner to deliver and manage an ‘activity village’ on a site off Bowbridge Road.

The council believes that the YMCA can provide the best sporting facilities for the town and wider district in addition to developing an exciting and extensive programme of community activities for children, young people and families.

The proposals will complement the council's newly opened and highly successful Sports and Fitness Centre – which is run by the council’s Active4Today company - bringing new investment to the town.    

At the same meeting councillors also agreed to transfer the freehold interest of grazing land off Kelham Road, to the west of Newark, to the Newark Ransome and Marles Cricket Club.

This will enable the club to vacate Elm Avenue, freeing up land for the proposed sports hub site, and have a second pitch at Kelham Road, which would be available for the 2018 season.  

The development of this 10-wicket cricket pitch will be made possible from Section 106 monies - funds  developers are obliged to pay under planning laws – which are earmarked for sports and recreation in Newark.

Separately, the Newark-based charitable organisation WE Knight Trust recently agreed, in principle,  to make a ‘significant funding’ contribution to the cricket club’s plans for a new pavilion at the Kelham Road site. The cricket club will make alternative arrangements for the 2017 season and plans to use the new pitch from 2018.

District council leader Councillor Roger Blaney welcomed last night’s decisions. He said:  "We are delighted to be working with Nottinghamshire YMCA on this exciting and forward-looking project which should transform sporting provision in Newark and wider district.

“By providing a solution to the  issue of cricketing facilities, this will  free  up the entire Bowbridge Road site  and make way for a start to be made on an this exciting project. The task ahead is to make sure that that what is proposed will bring the maximum benefit to the sporting and wider community in Newark and the surrounding area."

Craig Berens, Director of Operations and Programmes at Nottinghamshire YMCA, said: “We were extremely pleased to hear the news. This is an amazing opportunity to create a space that will support healthy and participative activity for the people of Newark town, the Newark and Sherwood district and wider region.

"The space will be truly multifunctional; we’ve been exploring ways to incorporate a range of activities, sports and provisions which share a focus on healthy living and bringing people together.

"Confirmation from Newark and Sherwood District Council is a true testament to our charity’s hard work in creating healthier more connected communities and we are very excited to be bringing our experience to Newark and Sherwood.”

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