Football Hub Development

Derby Racecourse Hub

Frequently asked questions 

What is the Football Hub Programme?

The Football Hub programme, formerly Parklife, is a national programme (supported by the FA, Sport England and the Premier League. The ‘Funding Partners’) designed to offer an alternative and sustainable solution to the long-term future for grassroots football. This is especially relevant at a time when local authorities are under significant financial pressure to rationalise playing stock whilst maintaining existing levels of football participation.

How and why was Derby chosen?

Derby City Council with support from strategic partners submitted an expression of interest to be considered for the programme in December 2016. The FA and the funding partners provided feedback in April 2017 and informed us that Derby was 1 of the 8 local authorities to be progressing onto stage 2 of the programme.

Are there any other operational Football Hubs in the country?

The Sheffield hubs have been in operation since the 2016/17 season. Liverpool and the London Borough of Ealing became operational throughout 2018 and Sunderland in 2019.
Wigan is planned to become the next portfolio of hub sites to become live in 2022.

Are there other Football Programmes in the Midlands?

No. Sheffield is the nearest

How many Football Hubs will there be and where will they be located?

There will be a 1 football hub site located at the Racecourse Playing Fields, St Mark’s Road, Derby, DE21 6AL.

Why has this site been chosen?

The FA in partnership with the City Council has reviewed a number of strategic sites across the city and concluded that this site is the most suited in order to deliver the requirements of the Funding Partners. The site has been identified as the most suitable to host the necessary infrastructure required.

What will the hub site consist of?

The site will see considerable improvements for users. The FA stipulated early in the process that each hub site would be expected to accommodate a minimum of 3 full-sized floodlit 3G pitches, a changing pavilion with a minimum of 6 changing rooms, a social / refreshment area and car parking to accommodate at least 200 cars. The Derby Hub proposes to have 4 full-sized floodlit 3G pitches including the existing 3G, a new extension to the current building to develop a better community hub including a café and redevelopment of the onsite car parking.

Will the newly developed 3G pitches be of a standard to play competitive fixtures?

Yes. Each pitch will be verified by The FA and added to the 3G pitch register, a requirement for affiliated games to be played.

Does this mean that all football in the city will now be played on 3G pitches?

No. The 3G pitches will complement the grass pitches across the city.

Is the car parking going to be sorted out?

Yes. We recognise that the car parking situation in and around the Racecourse is unacceptable and not adequate for the number of cars. The development is proposing to:

  • Create more on-site car parking.
  • Create changes to the access and exit of the car park off St Marks Road.
  • Create dedicated car parking spaces on Hampshire Road, to the north of the Racecourse
  • Formalise the usage of Derbyshire County Cricket Club

Is the development going to increase the number of cars and usage of the site?

It is not anticipated that there will be any significant increase in peak time use (Saturday & Sundays) of the Racecourse. The Racecourse is already a heavily used site and can only cater for a certain number of fixtures at any one time

The project is proposing to replace real grass with artificial grass, why, especially when there is a climate emergency?

We are extremely pleased that the Derby project has successfully been selected to be part of a national Football programme to improve the quality of public sector football pitches in England.

Our key partner, the Football Foundation are funding 60% of all project costs.

The project provides an opportunity to regenerate the entire Racecourse site and create a vibrant inclusive community hub.

The proposed improvements:

  • Support the increased demand in football in Derby as identified in the Playing Pitch Strategy.
  • Redevelop the existing building to be more energy-efficient,
  • Improve the play and recreation facilities for young people and families.
  • Minimise impacts on the environment, which will be better than before, creating more habitat for wildlife, providing more places for nature to live in.

Biodiversity enhancements are proposed to further add to the green corridor from the north of the city.
A Climate Change Impact Assessment will be conducted, the outcome of the assessment will be used to inform final proposals.