Football Foundation-funded community centre officially opens in Bradford
Bradford City AFC manager, Mark Hughes OBE, officially opened a state-of-the-art community sports complex at the BEAP Community Partnership yesterday (Thursday 28 July). The facility sits a stone’s throw away from the Bradford City AFC’s home ground of Valley Parade in Manningham, Bradford.
The £940,000 project was made possible thanks to a £600,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation, as well as additional funding from Power to Change, Sport England and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
Mark Hughes was joined at a showcase event at BEAP Community Partnership by Naz Shah MP for Bradford West, the Mayor of Kirklees, the Mayor of Bradford, Hiron Miah Chair of the BEAP Partnership and local Councillors.
Bradford City Manager, Mark Hughes, said: “I’d like to thank BEAP for inviting me to open their impressive new community centre. The Football Foundation’s funding into these facilities through the Premier League, The FA and the Government will not only allow more people to enjoy playing the game but help transform lives in the Bradford community.
“Many professional players find their start on grassroots pitches, and I hope to see one of the players using this facility one day pulling on a Bradford City FC jersey.”
Humayun Islam, BEAP Chief Executive, who has helped spearhead the project, said:
“This site is located in an area of high deprivation and we look forward to seeing this facility supporting our work to address the disadvantage faced by the people of this community.
“Prior to work beginning on this project in November last year, the site had no changing rooms and several facilities were either rundown or vandalised. Now, thanks to this investment, the site has re-opened with an extension to the existing building – which now includes two changing rooms, as well as a freshly refurbished small-sided Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and sports hall.”
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:
“At the Football Foundation, we know from experience the transformative impact grassroots sports facilities can have on people’s physical and mental health, bringing communities closer together as well as benefiting local economies.
"Funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, has played a vital role in making this fantastic project at BEAP a reality and we look forward to seeing the impact these improved facilities will undoubtedly have on the community here in the Bradford.”
As well as becoming the new home of Bradford Bengal Tigers FC (BBTFC), the improved facilities will host nine women and girls’ teams and over a dozen disability teams from the Bradford City FC Community Foundation (BCFCCF), as well a disability Summer School, facilitated by Bradford City AFC.
The site will also be used to run a number of non-sporting activities, such as health promotion, employability services and cultural programmes and will act as a central base for BCFCCF to run a number of Premier League programmes, including Education, Kicks, Disability and Primary Stars.