Ambitious Plans To Transform Leicester Community Sports Facility
Leicester City Hockey Club (Est. 1894 and previously known as Leicester Ladies Hockey Club) is currently enjoying its 125th anniversary as a hockey club and, to mark this incredible landmark, is pleased to announce exciting details of a project which has the potential to transform one of Leicester’s best-loved community sports facilities.
St Margaret’s Pastures, located on St Margaret’s Way in the heart of Leicester city centre, became the home of Leicester City Hockey Club earlier this year. At present, all teams, including the newly formed men’s first and second team, play their home fixtures at St Margaret’s Pastures – with the exception of the ladies’ first and second teams; however, the club is eager to bring those two teams back to Leicester and have the club play all games in the city.
The project announced today by Leicester City Hockey Club has the potential to not only do that, but also establish St Margaret’s Pastures as the premier community sports venue in the city for members of the public enjoying a vast array of sports, whether it be football, rugby, tennis, netball or cricket.
Once complete, St Margaret’s Pastures will be transformed completely, with the upgraded pavilion and top-level waterbase pitch complementing the fantastic multi-sport pitches and cages already installed on site.
The upgraded pavilion will provide drastically improved facilities for those using St Margaret’s Pastures, including a café and licenced bar, changing facilities and showers.
Meanwhile, the waterbase pitch will meet criteria to enable Leicester Hockey Club’s ladies first and second teams to play league fixtures at St Margaret’s Pastures, whilst delivering a top-level hockey pitch for all community players to access, meaning that young players can perform on the same pitch shared with the club’s first-team stars.
This development project is to be split in two phases, with phase one currently underway. Phase one of the project is to upgrade the hockey pitch at St Margaret’s Pastures, with all parties working hard to gather funding required to enable the waterbase pitch to be installed in April 2020.
However, to strengthen the club’s application for funding, and show a wider support for the project outside the hockey club as well as from within it, a crowdfunding project has been launched to aid the funding of the initial stage of the pitch upgrade entitled ‘Switch the Pitch’, which members of the public can support through visiting www.spacehive.com/switch-the-pitch
Phase two, estimated at taking between nine and 18 months, is the development of the St Margaret’s Pastures pavilion and site. Leicester City Hockey Club has been working with a number of sporting partners to create a community hub and base. The extended lounge, office space and sports hub will not only allow a more strategic delivery and development of Leicester City Hockey Club; it will do the same for the site, local community and overall area that St Margaret’s Pastures sits within. The redevelopment of the site will include additional five-a-side football pitches, marked out for multi-sport use.
Plans are also in place to add a second floor to the facility’s pavilion, in addition to a flat roof. This will enable a viewing area to be installed, alongside facilities that will enable courses and events to be hosted at St Margaret’s Pastures.
Sarah Treanor, Vice-President Development of Leicester City Hockey Club, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for both Leicester City Hockey Club and St Margaret’s Pastures. When the club moved to St Margaret’s Pastures, the aim was to ensure that we develop the site to ensure that it became an integral part of the local community; a multi-sport venue that would not only enable us to grow the game of hockey, but all other sports played by people within Leicester. This project will enable us to fulfil that aim.
“In the coming weeks, we’re keen to demonstrate to Sport England, England Hockey and other funding bodies that we are serious and fully committed to making this happen and that there’s sufficient support within the Leicester community to make this happen. ‘Switch the Pitch’, our current crowdfunding project, ensures that support is shown. The more people within the community that support ‘Switch the Pitch’, the better. Support from the local community will ensure that the project is taken seriously by funding partners.
“We’re urging everybody within Leicester who is passionate about sport and keen to see us developing a community venue in the heart of the city to donate whatever they can to help us kick-start this project.”
To pledge to support ‘Switch the Pitch’, please visit www.spacehive.co.uk/switch-the-pitch