Rhys Jones parents, Stephen and Melanie, with young footballers on the site of the sports pitches
A community centre and sports pitches in Liverpool dedicated to the memory of Rhys Jones is set to open in July.
The idea for the centre arose following the tragic shooting of 11-year-old Rhys in 2007 and a Trust was established to raise funds for a community centre for people living in the Croxteth Park estate and surrounding neighbourhood.
The Trust raised £255,000 and the council agreed to contribute £250,600 to the project, together with land it owns at Langley Close.
Now the Mayor’s Cabinet is being recommended that the council take on the responsibility for delivering and owning the centre with the aim of having it open by July.
Planning permission has been granted for the centre in Langley Close. It will include a community building with changing rooms and two all-weather floodlit football pitches. There will also be parking facilities.
The council will be transferring the completed facility on a peppercorn lease to the Alt Valley Community Trust, who already operate sports facilities in the area, will manage the community centre.
“We are now making real progress on a project which was first proposed over five years ago, ” said local Councillor Peter Mitchell. “We gave a commitment to the community and we can now see that that pledge is becoming a reality.
“The Memorial Fund and Trust cannot be praised highly enough for their efforts in bringing this about and the approach which is being taken is supported by the stakeholders group which has many local representatives
“Above all Rhys’s parents are in full support of what is proposed. This centre and sports pitches will be a fitting memorial to Rhys.”
A number of the companies involved in developing and delivering the scheme, including Regeneration Liverpool, Neptune, Tweeds, Deloittes, Falconer Chester Hall and DWF have all waived their fees.
The Cabinet will be asked to endorse the proposal at its meeting on Friday 8 March.