Anfield to benefit from major community centre redevelopment
Anfield Sports and Community Centre (ASCC) today confirmed that it will undergo a redevelopment as part of a £2.3m scheme that will enable the charity to offer improved sporting facilities and programmes to people living in North Liverpool.
Working with its funding partners – Liverpool Football Club, Liverpool City Council, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, Sport England and the Johan Cruyff Foundation/People’s Postcode Lottery and UEFA – the ASCC’s Football 4 Everyone programme will bring much needed investment to the Centre.
Work starts today and will see major improvements including a new full size floodlit artificial grass pitch, a three court sports hall, the refurbishment of existing artificial grass turf pitches and other works including new commercial office space.
One of the key developments will be the construction of a ‘Cruyff Court’ which will provide young people with a safe place to play sports as well as health and personal development support, funded by Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff’s Foundation. It will be the third such facility in the UK and the first outside London.
The ASSC project is part of the £260m Anfield regeneration project, delivered by Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Football Club and Your Housing Group, which has already seen vast improvements to housing in the area, together with the redevelopment of the Main Stand at Anfield Stadium. New commercial, leisure and retail facilities are also planned.
In addition to providing funding, Liverpool Football Club will use the centre as a base for its charitable activities in North Liverpool through its Foundation, which already runs a range of programmes from the ASCC.
Pat Smith, Chair of the ASCC – pictured above with Centre Manager Marie Rooney – commented: “We’re absolutely delighted that our dream to further develop Anfield Sports and Community Centre has become a reality. ASCC has been very much a part of the local community for a number of years and this investment will help secure what we do for future generations.
We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from our funders Liverpool FC, Liverpool City Council, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, Sport England and the Cruyff Foundation. A lot of work has been invested by ASCC staff, the project team and our key stakeholders to get this project off the ground. It has been a real team effort.
“This project will make a real difference to Anfield and we look forward to work starting and being able to provide vital facilities for members of the community who currently struggle to find suitable playing surfaces and facilities for sports in the area.”
All funds granted to the ASCC will help secure its long term future and in addition will create a number of new employment and volunteering opportunities in Anfield.
Liverpool Assistant Mayor Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member responsible for housing at Liverpool City Council, added: “This development will provide much needed facilities for people from across north Liverpool. The council is delighted to have been able to make a contribution to the redevelopment, which is part of the council’s overall health and wellbeing strategy to ensure everyone in the city has access to the very best sports facilities. This represents a huge improvement on the former Vernon Sangster facility following its relocation to and merger with the former Anfield Youth Club.”
Ian Ayre, Chief Executive, Liverpool FC, added: “ASCC is an important part of the community and this project will see vast improvements to the centre. It’s great news for the local area and we are proud to be associated with the project. Our charity, LFC Foundation has been working in Anfield for over 20 years and will continue to deliver its programmes from within the ASCC. We believe the Centre will go from strength to strength and it’s great to see investment being brought into the area from third parties like the Premier League and FA to support its wider regeneration.”
The redevelopment of the ASCC is expected to be completed later in 2015.