Oxford City Council has reopened the Lower Pavilion in Cutteslowe Park after a £809,000 refurbishment aimed at encouraging more young people and women to take part in football.
The modern facility features four team changing rooms, two officials’ changing rooms, a large community room, kitchen, toilets and viewing platform.
Oxford City Council teamed up with Summertown Stars AFC and the Oxfordshire Football Association to bid for the funding that made the refurbishment possible.
The Football Foundation’s The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provided £347,000; Sport England gave £300,000; and the City Council funded the remaining £162,000.
The funding aims to develop grassroots football by growing the club, in particular by developing the youth and women’s teams.
Lower Pavilion was officially reopened on Saturday (24/9).
The pavilion received an upgrade as part of the City Council’s £4.5m project to improve pavilions across Oxford.
The City Council is committed to providing affordable opportunities to take part in sports and exercise, and the pavilion funding comes on top of the £9m Leys Pools & Leisure Centre complex; the £4.7m Rose Hill Community Centre, which include a gym and health facility; and the £316,000 outdoor fitness equipment across the city’s parks.
In February Oxford was named the “fittest city in the UK” following a survey of 2,000 adults by Adapt Nutrition, and latest Sport England data found more people in Oxford are now taking part in sport at least once a week.
Councillor Linda Smith, Executive Board Member for Sport, Leisure and Parks, said: “The new pavilion is a fantastic step forward for sports facilities in Oxford and we are extremely grateful to the Football Foundation and Sport England for supporting us in refurbishing this important facility.
“The works here will enable a thriving local football club, in Summertown Stars AFC, to continue its excellent work in attracting more and more people to be active.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Oxford City Council to upgrade Cutteslowe Lower Pavilion. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Oxford is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it and to stay healthy.”