Press release 19/02/2016
Foots Cray Rugby Sports and Athletic Club and Charlton Athletic submit joint application to create a new community sports hub in New Eltham
- New £1.5m planning development aims to provide unique facilities for Foots Cray Rugby Sports and Athletic Club and Charlton Athletic
- Objective is to create affordable and accessible sport, education, health and wellbeing provision for the residents of the Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Additional planning application linked to overall Sparrows Lane development
Foots Cray Rugby Sports and Athletic Club (FRSAC) and Charlton Athletic have submitted plans to the Royal Borough of Greenwich with the aim of building new and improved sport and recreation facilities for FRSAC, allowing them to offer more and better amenities for the local community of New Eltham.
The application also aims to create an integrated community sports facility at which the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), the charitable arm of Charlton Athletic, will be able to expand the breadth and depth of their award-winning community programmes.
This new £1.5m application is in addition to the overall Sparrows Lane redevelopment. As part of the application an agreement has been reached between FRSAC and Charlton Athletic for the site to be used jointly by both organisations, allowing CACT to have direct access from Footscray Road for its activities.
Among the proposed facilities that will be of use to the local community are: a new 3G pitch for FRSAC that will serve local sporting organisations; a new community 3G pitch for CACT to expand its activities, particularly in relation to women’s football; an expanded community education building for CACT which will include new classrooms and changing room facilities; the renovation of two grass pitches, including a new drainage system to ensure they can be used by more of the community for more of the year.
CACT already run a comprehensive programme of activities in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, including running four youth hubs in the borough. Sparrows Lane is currently their main offices for over 23 CACT staff. The new 3G facility, changing facilities and classrooms will allow the Trust to deliver a more diverse development programme for a wider range of users and groups.
Jason Morgan, Chief Executive of Charlton Athletic Community Trust, said: “Having been based at Sparrows Lane for over 20 years, the training ground has provided CACT with the opportunity to offer a comprehensive programme of community activities.
“Being one of the largest football related charities in the UK, this exciting development with FRSAC will not only provide both CACT and Charlton Athletic with a facility to further develop community provision, but allow us to maximise opportunities around physical activity, participation, education, health and wellbeing.”
FRSAC, a registered charity which has over 400 members, is home to three rugby teams, over 20 football teams, three cricket sides and a local school which runs it PE classes and school matches there. They also play hosts to a number of social and educational activities including dance and language classes.
Their pitches are also in significant demand as local sporting organisations and groups have tried to expand their activity. FRSAC have to date been unable to invest in new facilities that could deliver more for the local community. Andrew De Lord, Honorary Chairman of Foots Cray Rugby Sports and Athletic Club hopes that the new facilities will enable them to do this and encourage more sport and recreation in New Eltham.
“The proposed new facilities are an exciting development in bringing together a widely recognised national football club with a local sports facility to create sporting opportunities for the community. It also goes a long way in supporting FRSAC’s ongoing mission of providing the highest quality facilities that are affordable and accessible to those young and old in the local and surrounding communities. We are excited to see what the future holds as a result of this fruitful relationship,” said De Lord.
Tony Keohane, Chief Operating Officer of Charlton Athletic, added: “Charlton are committed to being at the heart of the community. We want to be inclusive running a range of diverse activities that go beyond football and benefits as many people as possible across the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
“The site will be managed so that CACT and FRSAC can run their activities independently of each other but together create a truly integrated community sports venue sitting alongside Charlton’s professional training ground at Sparrows Lane. All of us are very excited at the potential benefits this development will bring the community.”