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News release from: 11/10/2023

Council delivers Northstowe sports pavilion

Council delivers Northstowe sports pavilion

Construction work on Northstowe’s phase one sports pavilion – which has been provided by South Cambridgeshire District Council – is now complete, with an opening date to be confirmed soon.

The pavilion on Peppercorn Drive will serve the Western Park sport pitches, bowling green and hard surface games area. It will provide team and referee changing, a fully accessible changing places facility, and a large clubroom area including a commercial kitchen and servery. The pavilion meets the specifications suggested by Sport England, the Football Association and Rugby Football Union – whilst the 4G astroturf pitch is designed for rugby – as well as football – matches.

The brand-new 4G astroturf sports pitch at the Northstowe Western Park Pavilion. The artificial surface is large enough for both rugby and football matches.

The pavilion’s green design includes an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water for the building, electric vehicle charging points, plus solar panels on the roof. Several changing rooms also benefit from waste-water heat recovery. Pentaco Construction have now completed the building work and handed the facility over to the Council.

The Council has selected Elite Sports UK as the partner to run the pavilion and Northstowe’s Western Park sports facility. Elite Sports UK operate several community sports facilities elsewhere and, together with the Council, will let Northstowe residents know when the pavilion and Western Park facilities will open for bookings. Elite Sports UK will also soon be putting together their offer of activities and promoting booking arrangements for them.

Operation of the pavilion and pitches will be overseen by a management board, made up of the district and town councils, Longstanton Bowls Club and Northstowe Sports and Wellbeing Group, meaning that the community will be able to influence the way the facility is run.

The outside of the Northstowe Western Park Pavilion. The building has a pitched roof and there are new shrubs and trees in the foreground.

Back in April Northstowe Secondary College students buried a time capsule during the pavilion’s construction. Among items for future generations to discover in the time capsule were photographs, a running medal from Northstowe’s first running festival in 2021, the first issue of Northstowe News from winter 2018 and a ball with all the college sport leaders’ initials on it.

The building has received funding from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It is one of several community buildings that South Cambridgeshire District Council is delivering for residents in the first phase of Northstowe. A temporary community centre opened in the summer and the Council submitted a planning application for a permanent community centre in September.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Bill Handley, said: “We’re thrilled that the Northstowe Western Park Sports Pavilion has been completed and it won’t be long now before it is open for Northstowe residents to use and enjoy. The pavilion is big enough for six squads of 20 players plus officials to change at the same time and will serve several sports pitches, including a large artificial pitch and a well-maintained natural bowling green, which sits adjacent to the building. The pavilion has a large club room with a fully equipped kitchen which we hope will be able to host parties, weddings and other events, and there are several doors allowing access to a large patio area and a well-equipped MUGA. This building is going to a great asset to Northstowe and the surrounding area for years to come. We know people are eager to use it, and the pitches, and we will confirm the opening details as soon as we can. The pavilion is one of several excellent community facilities that we are bringing forwards on phase one of Northstowe. We delivered a temporary community centre this summer – and it’s wonderful to see how well it is already being used. We have submitted exciting plans for the permanent community centre and continue to make progress on buildings such as the Civic Hub which will follow a little further down the line. We are fully committed to delivering for the community at Northstowe.”

The multi-use games area - or MUGA - at the Northstowe Western Park Pavilion. There are coloured markings painted on the surface to allow for a variety of games to take place.

Marcin Lis, Chairman at Northstowe Sports and Wellbeing, commented: “I am very excited to see the completion of this incredible facility in Northstowe town. This is a crucial moment in the town's development, as it provides an opportunity for individuals, groups, and sports clubs to enjoy various activities. The facility will play a significant role in encouraging an active lifestyle and fostering a happy and healthy community through sports."

Joe Harper from Elite Sports UK added: “Elite Sports UK are delighted to partner with South Cambridgeshire District Council to manage the Western Park pavilion and sports facilities. We are looking forward to working alongside the local community and local sports clubs to make Western Park a thriving community hub. Elite Sports UK will shortly be releasing further information on our planned activities, booking systems and much more.”

Longstanton Bowls Club will be relocating to Northstowe and making the new bowls green their new operating centre, creating an opportunity for Northstowe residents to take up bowls, and expanding their Longstanton membership. 

David Slights, Chair, Longstanton Bowls Club, said: “Following the completion of the new Northstowe Western Park Sports Pavilion, Longstanton Bowls Club are delighted to announce the relocation of the Bowls club from Longstanton to Western Park in Northstowe. The Longstanton Bowls green only has five rinks and matches can only be played in one direction resulting in excessive wear of the green and match scheduling constraints. In contrast, the new Northstowe bowls green is full sized with six rinks playable in both directions. This extra capacity will allow the Bowls Club to grow, serving both our existing membership and the growing Northstowe community. Typically, lawn bowls has an image of being an older person’s sport, when in practice it can be played and enjoyed by all generations. To this end, we’re already planning bowling events in 2024 with the Northstowe Secondary College. This is an exciting opportunity for both the communities of Longstanton and Northstowe and I’m eagerly awaiting April 2024, when the Northstowe Bowls green will open its gates for the start of the 2024 lawn bowls season.”

Northstowe is in the first phase of a vision that will develop over the course of around 20 years – depending on housing market conditions. Right now, with just over 1,350 homes occupied, it is about the size of a village.

Northstowe already has schools – including dual use sports and community facilities at Northstowe Secondary College, which came forward earlier than planned. There are allotments, food trucks, waterparks, walking and cycling trails, other sports facilities, community groups, a dedicated Town Council, regular events, and playgrounds areas including an informal Multi-Use Games Area and outdoor gym.

One of the District Councillors for Northstowe, Cllr Tom Bygott, commented: “I am very pleased to see the sports pavilion completed. It will be an excellent addition to the local community facilities in Northstowe. I am looking forward to seeing it in use by a variety of local teams for a long time to come.”

Fellow District Councillor for Northstowe, Cllr Natalie Warren-Green, added: “The completion of the sports pavilion is fantastic news for all ages in Northstowe and the surrounding area. I am really pleased to see the development finished and look forward to seeing it operating soon, welcoming all generations for varied sporting activity.”

One of the changing rooms inside the Northstowe Western Park Pavilion. There are benches to sit on and pegs to hang clothing on.