Community sports partnership to take over Finsbury Park track and tennis courts
Local sports clubs will take over running the Finsbury Park Track and Gym and the tennis courts in a groundbreaking agreement which sees the community at the heart of improved sports provision in the borough.
Haringey Council last night formally 'Agreed to Lease' the facilities to the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership Limited, a new umbrella group made up of local sports clubs and organisations, provided they can achieve specified milestones within three years.
Plans for the facilities include floodlighting to extend the evening opening hours of the tennis courts, the refurbishment of the running track, and building toilets and a pavilion at the tennis courts.
The milestones that the Partnership must achieve within three years before being granting the 25 year full leases are to:
- obtain charitable status for all provision
- procure a tennis operator who will secure £280,000 to fund improvements
- attract £500,000 external funding for the track and gym
- secure planning permission for the proposed scheme
Haringey Council has pledged to help the Partnership achieve their objectives during this time.
Cllr Richard Watson,Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for community sports groups to provide facilities and improvements to the provision in the park. The council will support them through the first phase and look forward to a new era of sports provision in our borough, with communities and voluntary organisations in the driving seat."Residents have told us they want to be able to book courts rather than simply turn up on spec hoping one is available, they also want to be able to have tennis lessons and tournaments and access to toilet and changing facilities. This leasing arrangement should make all of these things possible without further burden on the taxpayer."
Jerry Odlin, Chair of the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership Ltd, said:
"This is fantastic news. Everyone involved in the Partnership has worked hard with the council to make this possible and ensure improved sports provision in Finsbury Park."We are ambitious to get these facilities improved so that we can provide a first class training and competition facility for the existing clubs and the wide range of users including local schools, disabled sports groups and the general public and give better access so that people can use them for fun or for serious training and events."
During consultation last year 95% of respondents backed these proposals with 78% supporting extending opening hours to 10pm either every night or week nights.
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