Grand opening celebrates top-notch £695,000 new sports facility in Daventry

A girls' football tournament was held on the new 3G pitch at Daventry Sports Park last week as part of its grand opening.
A girls' football tournament was held on the new 3G pitch at Daventry Sports Park last week as part of its grand opening.

A new sports pitch and refurbished pavilion was officially opening at Daventry Sports Park last week with a girls' football tournament.

A newly-refurbished changing pavilion and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch at Daventry Sports Park is helping to provide high-quality sport facilities for the District's ever-growing local population.

The revamped pavilion and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch in Browns Road has been developed by leisure operator Everyone Active and Daventry District Council after a big investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.

They were officially opened last week with a tournament for primary school girls organised by the Northamptonshire Sport organisation.

The £695,000 project benefited from a £445,489 grant from the Football Foundation, allowing work to begin back in September 2017.

One side of the changing pavilion has been overhauled to provide accessible changing facilities, a classroom and an upgraded reception area. The new 3G pitch replaced a sand-based all-weather surface which had become worn out.

The facilities will help cater for the recent housing growth in Daventry, providing numerous community clubs with state-of-the-art training and match-play pitches as well as compliant changing facilities, the district council said.

There is just one other 3G surface, which is made up of small-sided pens, within five miles of Daventry Sports Park, so the Northamptonshire County FA identified the site as a priority location to grow the game.

This has been further supported by Northampton Town FC, with the club’s community trust committed to running sessions at the site with potential areas of focus including women and girls, disability and academy teams playing matches.

Between Northampton Town Football in the Community Trust (FiTC) and the associated partner clubs, it is predicted that a growth of 40 new football teams could be playing there by 2024.

Daventry Town FC, Weedon FC, Long Buckby FC and West Haddon Juniors FC will take the lead around raising standards as part of their charter mark accreditation.

The growth in teams playing football at the sports park will support more than 600 new players across all age categories. The biggest growth is anticipated in junior footballers aged 14 and younger, with 22 new teams, including boys, girls and mixed teams, supporting nearly 300 children in this demographic.

Jamie Brightwell, the general manager of the sports park, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to put this project together, it has taken around six years from the initial idea.

"We have managed to overcome several issues to provide a state-of-the-art facility for the local community.

"Credit must go to the Football Foundation and Mel Bland at Daventry District Council who has led the project over the final 18 months. We have already seen participation increase and expect it to grow further once the season starts next month.”

Councillor Alan Hills, the district council’s community culture and leisure portfolio holder, said: “This is a wonderful facility which is providing even more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to play the beautiful game.

“This has been a real partnership effort between the council and Everyone Active, and we are very grateful to the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation for backing the project, which will do so much to support grassroots football in our community.”

Chief Executive of the Football Foundation Paul Thorogood said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country.

"Their funding has played a key role in delivering this refurbished changing pavilion and 3G pitch in Northamptonshire and I am delighted for everyone associated with Everyone Active and Daventry District Council.

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”

For booking enquiries, visit the Daventry Leisure Centre website at www.everyoneactive.com/centre/daventry-leisure-centre/