Huge new 'flagship' community sports facility planned to serve Peterborough - including Pickleball and tennis

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It’s hoped the new project will improve ‘community cohesion’ and provide ‘maximum health and wellbeing benefits’

Plans to create a large sports pavilion complex in Castor have been submitted – with a community sports building, changing rooms and five more new tennis courts.

Nene Park Trust took over management of the Woodlands site in 2017 and committed to making the pitches available to the wider Peterborough community.

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The site, which is currently home Thorpe Wood Rangers Football Club and Bretton and Bharat Cricket Clubs, will get a multi-use games area to improve the offering of sports, training, meetings, education, health and wellbeing.

A view from the pitches towards the proposed pavilion.A view from the pitches towards the proposed pavilion.
A view from the pitches towards the proposed pavilion.

Castor and Ailsworth Tennis Club are also planning to join Woodlands to enhance tennis on site, including five more artificial grass courts with environmentally-friendly floodlighting, two pickleball courts and two padel tennis courts – open to all.

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What will the sports pavilion complex include?

The sports pavilion complex, pictured, will be a single storey community sports building – with changing and accessible facilities, meeting and function space, room for sport officials to change and to provide first aid on site.Other features include a reception area, providing a separate entrance for non-sporting visitors, kitchen facilities, administration offices and storage facilities for grounds equipment.

A proposed view on the approach from Splash Lane.A proposed view on the approach from Splash Lane.
A proposed view on the approach from Splash Lane.

‘Community cohesion’

A statement from the Nene Park Trust said: “Our vision for Woodlands is a hub for positive healthy lifestyles and community cohesion that provides maximum health and wellbeing benefits to the diverse local population it serves.”

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The project will be funded through external funding – such as support from sports governing bodies, fundraising by sports clubs, donations from the local community, support from other grants and matched funding from the trust.

Part of the original Woodlands site is now under the management of County Court Care, which operates a 24-bed assisted living unit, with plans to demolish the previous sports pavilion on the site to provide 54 more assisted living units having already been submitted.

Woodlands became a sports facility in the early 1990s when Pearl Assurance moved its main operation to Peterborough.

The building closed in 2005 although the pitches and outdoor facilities remained in use for a few more years.

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Tony Buckingham, secretary of Bretton Cricket Club said: “When the proposed state-of-the-art clubhouse is built, Woodlands will once again become the flagship that all sports centres will look up to by providing sports and leisure facilities that will be second to none, in a safe and picturesque environment.”

Jonathan Bigham from Cricket East added: “These facilities are so vital for the Peterborough sporting community in helping to bring people together and to help develop and enhance the excellent current provision that is currently offered at Woodlands.”

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