Peterborough sports pitches set to re-open under new Nene Park Trust deal

Khalsa v Ramsey cricket at Woodlands, Castor. Khalsa batsman Tariq Aziz
Khalsa v Ramsey cricket at Woodlands, Castor. Khalsa batsman Tariq Aziz
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Sports pitches in Castor will re-open after being out of action for more than a year.

The Nene Park Trust has announced a new future for the Woodlands Sports Centre and the sports pitches which used to host local football and cricket.

The trust has taken a surrender of the long leasehold interest in the site from Phoenix Life Assurance (formerly known as Pearl Assurance) and now plans to reopen the pitches later this year.

The pitches have been out of use since 2015 and the sports centre itself since 2004 when Phoenix Life Assurance closed their Peterborough headquarters.

The sports pitches will now be part of the trust’s estate and managed in line with its charitable objectives.

The trust wants to use the facilities to promote sport and public health in Peterborough and for the local community, and the deal with Phoenix has secured the site for the community for the next 970 years.

To facilitate these arrangements, the trust has sub-let the area immediately around the sports centre and the building itself to Starleen Investments. This represents just under nine acres of land out of the total site area of 23 acres.

Matthew Bradbury, chief executive of Nene Park Trus,t said: “For over a decade Woodlands has been a worry to the community. Working with Peterborough City Council we have explored many options for its use.

“Nene Park Trust could not afford to be responsible for the lease on the entire site and assume the costs of maintaining the facilities and buildings without a commercial partner committed to the development of part of the site.

“We are now confident that we have found a way forward that assures the long term future of the sports pitches for community use and a commercial partner to provide a framework for the development of the buildings and surrounding area in a way that can bring real benefits to the community.”

Starleen Investments is an experienced property investment company with previous experience of working in Peterborough.

As freeholder of the site, Peterborough City Council has consented to part of the area being sublet to Starleen Investments and to the principle of a variety of new uses for that part of the site. Planning permission for the eventual use will be required.

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