Kirkby park nets £60k investment in grassroots football

An award winning Kirkby-in-Ashfield park is top of the league after netting £60,000 in improvements to its facilities for local footballers, including a significant contribution from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme (LIS).

The improved stadia facilities at Kingsway Park now mean that the football pitch is fully enclosed with new access points for players and officials along with a designated spectator entrance.  Team shelters have been provided for the players with a hard standing area and rail provided for spectators.

Funding grants of £20,000 from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) and £20,000 from the Football Foundations Stadia Improvement Fund were used to match Section 106 contributions from local housing developments.

Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council stated, “LIS funding isupports a wide range of community-led projects. Last year the County Council awarded 76 LIS capital grants for schemes across the county last year, totalling more than £1 million.

“I would urge other groups to follow Ashland Rovers’ lead by bidding for LIS funding. The current round of applications for grants of between £1,000 and £50,000 to put towards capital projects in Nottinghamshire is open until 28 February next year – visit our website, www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/lis for details.”

Ashland Rovers of the Central Midlands League play their home fixtures at Kingsway Park.

John Dawn, Chairman of Ashland Rovers FC said, The completion of the works sees the culmination of four years planning, raising and securing funds and overseeing the construction. This hard work, in partnership with Ashfield District Council, has improved the standard of the main grass pitch and its immediate surroundings which will benefit the local community and help Ashland Rovers FC achieve our sporting ambitions.”

Other groups in Ashfield can follow Ashland Rovers’ lead by bidding for LIS funding. The current round of applications for grants of between £1,000 and £50,000 to put towards capital projects in Nottinghamshire is open until 28 February next year.  Visit Nottinghamshire County Council’s website, www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/lis for details.

The celebration of the new football facilities coincided with Kingsway park retaining the Green Flag Award for the tenth consecutive year. Kingsway is one of six parks in Ashfield joining 125 other green spaces across the East Midlands to receive the award this year in recognition of their high standards. Ashfield District Council’s parks are among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that have received the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2018 recognising the mark of a quality park or green space.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council, said, “It is fantastic to see that the excellent standard of the park has been recognised by this national award scheme for high quality green spaces. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining the parks to such a high standard. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in making Kingsway Park more attractive and welcoming to visitors of all ages, and working together to bring about this well-deserved success.”

The Place Team from Ashfield District Council have been working in partnership with Ashland Rovers FC to deliver improvement works to the main grass football pitch on Kingsway Park. The successful LIS funding application was supported by Councillor Rachel Madden, the local County Councillor for the Kirkby South area.

Cllr Madden commented, Having been involved with Kingsway Park since 2000 through the Friends group, I am particularly pleased that the Green Flag has been retained for another year. The Friends have worked tirelessly alongside officers from Ashfield District Council to access funding so residents of all ages and interests can enjoy the excellent facilities all year round.”