Up to £1.5m pledged for Sports and Community Village

2 March 2017

Nottinghamshire YMCA has pledged up to £1.5million in order to launch Sports and Community Village in Newark.

This marks a great milestone for the £8.5million project. An eclectic mix of programmes already proposed by YMCA includes after-school clubs, a family cafe, a climbing wall and sports facilities. 

A six lane athletics track has now been confirmed, with support from England Athletics. Many stakeholders continue to have their say, helping to shape the formal planning application due to be submitted in the summer.

Craig Berens, Director of Operations and Programmes at Nottinghamshire YMCA, said: “We are committed to delivering a truly unique and multifunctional space in the shape of the Sports and Community Village in Newark. It is an incredibly exciting project to be involved with, especially for our YMCA which has been committed to improving health and wellbeing in communities for so many generations. As a testament to Nottinghamshire YMCA’s commitment to the project, we are prepared to match funds contributed by charitable trusts up to the total of £1million. In addition to this, we also pledge to match funds up to £500,000 from direct contributions.”

Nottinghamshire YMCA hopes that the proposed match funding will encourage other prospective funders to participate in this exciting inter-generational and collaborative project in the heart of Newark.

Todd Cauthorn, Operations Manager for Children, Young People and Families at Nottinghamshire YMCA said: “The space and scope of the site means that we can build something that really brings together a huge number of local people. Families, sports clubs and individuals will all find something of interest. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has showed their support so far, and look forward to meeting many more members of the community in the months to come.”

A six lane athletics track will also have an eight-lane straight sprint track.

Todd Cauthorn, Operations Manager for Children, Young People and Families at Nottinghamshire YMCA said: “Everyone will be able to use the track; of course for sprinting and race preparation but also for activities such as walking groups and other low impact exercise. We will also be able to host mini competitions for children at our onsite crèche and afterschool clubs. Along with many other aspects that are in the pipeline; the athletics track will be a great space for generations to come together and get active.”

Matt Foad, of England Athletics, is pleased with the community elements discussed for the new athletics track. He said: “Newark has been in need of a specific facility for athletics for a number of years now. Various solutions have been looked at and considered but the partnership approach and vision of the YMCA is a winning combination.
“England Athletics’ vision for the future of clubs is those working with their community and partners to establish a multi-use site that has constant activity supporting the running of the track and thus ensuring its sustainability. This plan from the YMCA makes perfect sense and will provide current and future athletes in Newark with an unrivalled facility that is safe for years to come.

“England Athletics is fully supportive of these plans and are grateful to the YMCA for their vision and tenacity in pursuing this project.”

Nottinghamshire YMCA is working with local sports clubs, community groups and national governing bodies to finalise the finer details of many other facilities and programmes.

The vision is to create a space that works for both sports groups and the local community meaning that residents of the planned extra care facilities on Bowbridge Road will be able to enjoy a space with local primary school children, families and sports clubs, for generations to come.

The YMCA also hopes to work with Balderton Parish Council to improve security on Balderton Lake to create dedicated and safe areas for relaxation, as well as being able to support supervised kayaking and canoeing sessions for children, young people and adults.

Craig Berens, Director of Operations and Programmes at Nottinghamshire YMCA said: “We are really pleased with how conversations are going with local groups and national governing bodies. Our original business plan set out to ensure a sustainable facility which allows healthy activity for as much of the local community as possible. This remains our focus. We have spoken to a broad range of stakeholders and will be incorporating their various aspirations into a formalised site plan. With continued support, we are certain that the Sports and Community Village will be a great success; hosting programmes and facilities for children, young people, families and individuals who are engaged in sport, as well as for those who aren’t.”

Architecture firm WM Saunders have been engaged to develop the plans, which look set to present a truly unique facility for local residents. Nottinghamshire YMCA hopes to submit a formal planning application by summer 2017 and to start site work by the end of the year.

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