it's a large, easily accessible, open space for outdoor activity - which is no longer used to its full potential;
it's a place where you need to wear your wellies, even in the Summer;
there's a problem with dog mess; and
when there's no activity in the community centre later in the evening and overnight, the area around the building is a good hiding place for those who don't want to be seen - resulting in littering and anti-social behaviour.
Bradley Big Local Community Land Trust wants to bring modern, affordable, year-round football and sports facilities to the site. We've looked at what's available locally, how easy it is to get to, how much it costs and availability. Most local facilities are expensive, over-subscribed and/or not available for community groups. That's where our development is different.
What do we want to build?
Our plans are to:
remove the existing goalposts
build a full-size 11-a-side artificial grass pitch with full security fencing and floodlighting which is designed to limit and control light spillage to the neighbouring area
build changing rooms, probably as an extension to the community centre
and extend the car park.
What will all this look like?
Things are still in the early stages and we have a lot of work to do engaging with a wide range of community members: residents, football and sports clubs, schools and other potential users. This will be a fully inclusive community facility. To give you an idea, though, of what the new 3G pitch might look like we asked a couple of local architects, Andrew Parker and ANW, to produce professional drawings and an artist's impression. These are shown here along with some photos of the area as it is now.
The development is expected to cost in the region of £1 million. We've a long way to go to demonstrate that it's viable and sustainable, but we know that if we all work together we can have a really robust business plan. As of now, BBL Community Land Trust has put aside money from the sale of the houses on Beech Street, Nelson, and we have a conditional offer of grant funding from Bradley Big Local Partnership. We have regular, very positive, discussions with Lancashire County Football Association and The Football Foundation to support us in applications for large-scale capital grants.
It's vital that we work with YOU - residents, football and sports clubs, stakeholders and others in the Bradley community and beyond to make this project a reality. We are always on the look-out for backing from sponsors, supporters and potential users to evidence how much the investment is valued across the community - if that's you, please get in touch with usnow!