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Norwich City Community Sports Foundation opens first phase of new hub which will reach 12,000 people every year

Norwich City Community Sports Foundation opens first phase of new hub which will reach 12,000 people every year

Date published: 14/09/2018
Norwich City Community Sports Foundation opens first phase of new hub which will reach 12,000 people every year
The Nest ribbon cutting with from left to right, Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, Paul Knowles, Chairman of Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, Norwich City midfielder, Louis Thompson and BT Sport presenter, Jake Humphrey.

The first phase of The Nest, Norwich City Community Sports Foundation’s new community hub, was officially opened by Norwich City midfielder, Louis Thompson and BT Sport presenter, Jake Humphrey in Norfolk recently (Thursday 13 September). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant has enabled Community Sport Foundation (CSF), Norwich City Football Club’s official charity partner, to rejuvenate a disused sports facility on the edge of the city, renovating the existing clubhouse and changing rooms and relaying seven grass football pitches. The Nest has catering and accommodation facilities for up to 70 people, as well as office and meeting space for the use of CSF staff and visiting organisations.

A huge range of local people will use the current phase of the site, including grassroots football teams and CSF-run projects for disadvantaged and disabled people, while a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise £2.4 million pounds towards the total cost of a second phase. The completed project is set to feature a floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), a gym, and classroom facilities and would see the Foundation reach an additional 12,000 people every year.

Norwich City Community Sports Foundation were awarded a £495,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards phase one of the project. CSF worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Norfolk County FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

CSF will use the new facility to address five key priorities; physical activity and health, increasing sports participation, disability sport, employment and lifelong learning for young people.

Phase one will see over 50 grassroots teams use the football pitches, which will also host training courses, school events, and a wide range of CSF activities. Over 2,600 people a year will use the bunk boxes (which will provide accommodation for short two to four day residential training courses) and clubhouse for residential camps, community events and business conferencing.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 202 grants worth £6.8m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £13.8m across the whole of Norfolk.

Jackie Thornton, Head of Development at Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, said: “We’ve taken a disused sports facility and breathed new life into it, creating a hub that will be of great value to the community; in these first few weeks we have already had over 2,000 people through the doors.”

“We’re hugely grateful for the support of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which has played a significant part in bringing this phase of the project to life.”

“Now, the emphasis is really on our work to secure the funds for the second phase of The Nest, which will help the Foundation reach an extra 12,000 people a year when completed.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Norwich City Community Sports Foundation has now opened the first phase of their state-of-the-art hub in Horsford, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.

“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”

ENDS

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“We’ve taken a disused sports facility and breathed new life into it, creating a hub that will be of great value to the community; in these first few weeks we have already had over 2,000 people through the doors.” - Jackie Thornton, Head of Development at Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

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