The University of Leeds and the Football Foundation have marked the start of building works on a new football facility, giving a welcome boost to grassroots sport in Leeds made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
A new site, close to the University’s Bodington Playing Fields, will be developed into an impressive sports facility set to include three full size LED floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs), a four-team changing pavilion with community café, meeting space, and parking facilities.
Bodington Playing Fields is located just three miles north of the main University of Leeds campus and are also home to The Brownlee Centre, the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre and new 1-mile (1.6km) Bodington cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.
Once completed, the new site will be home to six partner clubs whose 142 teams will have access to fantastic facilities. The facility will also be a central venue for the Garforth Junior Football League and West Riding Girls League – eventually reaching 213 teams. As well as supporting the local community, the scheme will also be an important home to the University’s sports programmes, as well as supporting the Leeds United Foundation and West Riding County FA to deliver a broad range of recreational programmes and activities for the wider community.
Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said: “The University is proud to be opening a new facility to support our students and the local community in north Leeds.
“As well as providing an important space for local football clubs in the region and our further investment in the student experience, we hope that it will inspire many more people to become active and we’re looking forward to working with our partners to develop new ways to support the community and create more ways for people to get involved in sport.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is great news for Leeds that the work at the University has started.
“This is the latest example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England, improving grassroots facilities across the country. This funding will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.”
Sewell Construction have been appointed to carry out the work, with completion expected in the summer of 2022.
Dave Major, Sewell Construction Project Manager added: “We’re delighted to have been appointed as contractors for this exciting development at the University of Leeds.
“The investment that has been made into this scheme is evident in the dedication from all partners to create a community hub, with greater access to all within the local area.
“To be able to play our part in the City-wide contribution to sport at a local, regional, and national level, is something we’re extremely proud of.”
For more information about the project and to follow its progress visit the University’s campus development website here.
Pictured, left to right:
Steve Grime – UoL Head of Football, Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep, Will Wallace – Football Foundation, Suzanne Glavin – UoL Head of Sport & Physical Activity, Robert Sullivan – CEO Football Foundation, Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – UoL Outdoor Operations Manager, Adrian Morris – Football Foundation.