Work starts on the new artificial turf hockey pitch at Magnus

Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Work has begun on the refurbishment of the artificial turf hockey pitch at Magnus Church of England Academy which will secure Newark Hockey Club’s long term future at the site, its home for the last 20 years, as well as a great new facility for the academy students and the wider sporting community of the Town.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is providing the initial funding to upgrade the pitch, which will be paid back by Magnus from the leasing fees through a community use agreement. In addition to the pitch upgrade Newark and Sherwood District Council will carry out a number of further improvements to make it one of the best hockey pitches in the East Midlands.

The old artificial turf surface, installed in 2001, and its underlying shock pad will be replaced, and new LED lighting will be installed to the existing lighting columns. 

Additional grant funding opportunities are being explored by the District Council and Newark Hockey Club for support towards the cost of replacing the existing goals and the provision of new dug outs for the teams playing at the site.

As well as the District Council financing the project it will also take a lead in the operational management of the pitch by agreement with Magnus through its leisure management company, Active4Today, for a period of 15 years and bookings for use can be made through its existing online booking system. 

The refurbishment is one of the District Council’s initiatives aimed to contribute towards its Community Plan Objective of improving the health and wellbeing of local residents, with the intention that the improved pitch will encourage greater participation in sport and recreational activities within the local community particularly hockey and football.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Refurbishments to the Newark Hockey Club pitch at Magnus will see it become one of the best in the East midlands attracting players and supporters from all over the area.

“Newark and Sherwood is becoming a great area to participate in sport with the new YMCA Community and Activity Village becoming a reality soon as well as the many Active4Today sites across the district in Southwell, Newark, Blidworth and Dukeries which also had a £3m five-lane pool installed last year.”

Arran Coggan, Chair of Newark Hockey Club, said: "We are delighted to see the pitch refurbished and thank the school and Council for their positive outlooks in making this happen. 

Being over 15 years old the current pitch can be detrimental to safe hockey. Over 180 players from 5 to 60+ years old play hockey weekly throughout the year and a new pitch will enable to us to provide a safe and secure home for everyone”.

Anna Martin, Executive Head at the Magnus Academy, said: “We are thrilled to have secured a great investment for our academy and students, the partnership working with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark Hockey and Active4Today has enabled us to secure an asset for the whole community”.

Andy Carolan, Managing Director of Active4Today, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Magnus to ensure the new facility will be well utilised by the sporting community of Newark and contribute to the collective challenge of getting more people more active more often”.

Work is likely to be completed towards the end of July which will reduce disruption to both the academy and Hockey club and be open in time for some Summer Holiday activities and in good time for the start of the new hockey season in September.