News release from: 22/01/2024
Council opens Northstowe sports pavilion
Northstowe’s new sports pavilion – which has been delivered by South Cambridgeshire District Council – has been officially opened for residents to use.
The pavilion on Peppercorn Drive serves the Western Park sport pitches, bowling green and hard surface games area. It provides 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.
All images on this page: davidjohnsonphotographic.co.uk
The ribbon was officially cut by South Cambridgeshire District Council Chair, Cllr Peter Fane, and the Mayor of Northstowe Town Council, Cllr Paul Littlemore, on Saturday (20 January). This was followed by Longstanton Football Club, who provide football sessions for many Northstowe residents, playing their first match on the state-of-the-art pitch. Members of Northstowe Town Council were also invited to tour the new facility.
The pavilion’s green design includes an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water, electric vehicle charging points, plus solar panels on the roof. Several changing rooms also benefit from waste-water heat recovery.
Last year, the Council 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. Residents can now book a pitch online. For a weekly recurring booking, email email@example.com or search for ‘Western Park Pavilion’ on Facebook for further details about activities and jobs on offer.
Operation of the pavilion and pitches is being 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.
Back in April last year (2023) Northstowe Secondary College students buried a time capsule during the pavilion’s construction. Among items for future generations to discover in the 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 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 last summer and the Council’s plans for a permanent community centre were approved in December.
The pavilion has also received some funding from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund – which has paid for additional storage to support the use of the pitches and bowling green, as well as CCTV for the building and car park.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Bill Handley, said: “I am so pleased that we now have this brilliant new facility open for Northstowe residents to use – and which will also bring benefits to neighbouring communities. The pitches and bowling green are truly superb, and this is perfect timing as some of them can be used in all weather conditions. The building itself is so much more than a pavilion too – it’s a real community facility with 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. The pavilion is one of several excellent community facilities that South Cambridgeshire District Council is bringing forwards on phase one of Northstowe; We delivered a temporary community centre last summer – and it’s wonderful to see how popular it has been – whilst our exciting plans for the permanent community centre were approved at the end of last year.”
Cllr Paul Littlemore, Mayor of Northstowe Town Council, said: “It is very exciting to see the Western Park Pavilion open to the community. This facility is the first permanent community building to open in Northstowe and is integral to unlocking the potential of our Western Park, Multi Use Games Areas and Bowls Green as well as the new indoor club room. We look forward to seeing the town’s many sports groups making use of this facility.”
Joe Harper from Elite Sports UK added: ““After months of hard work from colleagues at Pentaco, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Elite Sports UK, we are delighted to have opened the Western Park Pavilion alongside South Cambridgeshire District Council. We have now opened our booking system for any customers looking to book a pitch on the 4G pitch, and we will shortly be releasing booking information for the netball and tennis courts. Further work will be happening within the facility to further enhance the offering to the local community, so please bear with us on this. We are looking forward to engaging with the local community to provide a wide range of health, wellbeing, and social activities, whilst creating further job and training opportunities to the local community. Please keep an eye on our social media page, in community groups and in the centre for these opportunities.”
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.
Northstowe already has 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 Natalie Warren-Green, added: “‘I am very happy to have been at the opening of the Sports Pavilion in Northstowe. Residents have been actively building up active sports groups and sessions in the last couple of years and the use of this facility for sporting activity, and for changing, will be very welcome. I am also heartened that the pavilion is being considered as a facility to be used by sports groups across my district ward, including Longstanton, and Oakington and Westwick. This is a very good day for the active residents of Northstowe and the surrounding area.”
Fellow District Councillor for Northstowe, Cllr Tom Bygott, commented: “It’s fantastic to see this new pavilion and the surrounding pitches open and ready for use. The new facilities are impressive and will make it much more convenient to be active from the start of a new year. I’m sure that they will be well used by the community.”