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£4m sport and community project for South East Sheffield

A £4m cutting edge scheme to deliver a new sporting and community hub for south east Sheffield has been submitted to city planners.

The Sheffield and Hallamshire County Football Association (SHCFA) has exciting and far reaching plans for the development of a community football centre on the site of the former Westfield School.

The Westfield Community Football Centre will see the development of a sporting hub for the community, the engagement and regeneration through sport to build a better and healthier future for residents and the relocation of the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA to the 28-acre site.

James Hope-Gill, SHCFA chief executive, said: “The creation of this community sporting hub will put sport at the heart of the community in South East Sheffield and use sport as a tool for community regeneration.

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

Currently the site, which used to house the old school sports centre, offers eight poorly drained pitches with vandalised changing facilities used by just over 20 weekend football and rugby union teams.

The future vision through an organised development and community programme accessed seven days a week sees numerous 11-a-side, 9-a-side and 5-a-side weekly football matches, rugby union teams training and matches, jogging, cycling and archery clubs, as well as coach and education courses for 1,500 attendees.

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

Funding for the community project is expected to come from grants via The Football Association, The Football Foundation, Sport England and the Rugby Football Union plus some capital from the County FA. Naming rights and sponsorship opportunities will also be considered.

Steve Brailey, SIV chief executive, added: “SIV is delighted to work in partnership with the County FA in this important community project.”

Building would start in 2012 once funding and planning timescales are finalized, with a view to the site opening in 2013.

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