£4m sports hub vision for future

Sheffield and Hallamshire FA new HQ - westfield sketch
Sheffield and Hallamshire FA new HQ - westfield sketch
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PLANS are in place for a £4million development which will serve as a community sporting development for the south-east of Sheffield.

The 28-acre site, to be called the Westfield Community Football Centre, is at the former Westfield School and whilst essentially football, it will have a wider sporting range and serve as a new sporting and community ‘hub’ for that area.

In addition, the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA (S&HFA) are to relocate their offices to the new development and S&HFA chief executive James Hope-Gill said he was “excited” about the scheme and the whole concept.

“The creation of this development puts sport at the heart of the community in South East Sheffield and uses sport as a tool for community regeneration,” he said.

“Football has significant potential to be used as a catalyst to encourage physical activity and health living for all the community across a wide range of programmes, some of which won’t be directly related to football.”

Currently 20 teams, both football and rugby union, use run-down facilities and the vision is to cater for 11-a-side, 9-a-side and 5-a-side football, rugby union, jogging, cycling and archery clubs, as well as coach and education courses for 1,500 people.

Facilities proposed include an artificial floodlit pitch with stand, up to eight grass pitches for football and rugby, 5-a-side pitches, a gym (built and managed by Sheffield International Venues, jogging and cycle track, physiotherapy clinic, community multi-purpose meeting rooms and classrooms, social facility and changing rooms.

James said: “The S&H County FA has developed strong links with the local community in determining what their needs are and the exact activities and facilities required on site, so ensuring the community will regard the site as being for them.

“Our plans contribute significantly to the delivery of local priorities outlined in the plans for this area.

Arnie Hattersley, from Mosborough Miners Welfare, said: “The aim is to provide a sport facility for the whole community whilst using use sport to deliver wider social outcomes of inclusion, crime reduction, health improvement, educational attainment and civic pride for residents, utilising the power of sport to build a better future.

“We have been involved from the start with the County FA’s plans and have provided valuable input into what local people need and want.”

Depending on the necessary planning approval and funding, building starts next year with completion in 2013.