Football Foundation PlayZone opens in Normanton Park

Tue 12 Mar 2024

The local community in Normanton, Derby, will have access to a unique new small-sided multi-sport pitch, thanks to £180,000 funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

PlayZones are safe, inclusive and accessible facilities to play football and a whole range of other sports and physical activities, which are designed with and shaped by the communities using them.

Located in Normanton Park, this PlayZone will be run by Sporting Communities, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which provided £35,000 towards the project alongside an additional £25,000 contribution from Derby City Council.

To make sure the new facilities are designed in a way that works for the needs and preferences of the local community, Sporting Communities gathered the views of more than 200 local residents representing a cross-section of the community, including people from a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Based on the findings of this consultation, the pitch will host football, cricket, netball, touch rugby, quick-stick hockey and dodgeball. Across these sports and activities, the facility is expected to be used by more than 1,500 people within five years of opening. A local primary school will also use the PlayZone for 10 hours a week as currently the school has no on-site PE facilities for its 600 students.

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

Today is a proud day for the Football Foundation as we officially cut the ribbon on this PlayZone. I hope this fantastic new facility will be a great source of pride for the local community in Normanton who helped shape and deliver the project, without whom it simply wouldn’t exist.

Thanks to the funding we receive from our partners – the Premier League, The FA and Government, the Foundation will be delivering more than 230 PlayZones like the one here at Normanton Park across the country.

The opening event was attended by representatives of the Foundation, Sporting Communities and the Council, who officially cut the ribbon on the new facilities.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, leader of Derby City Council, said:

We're thrilled that Derby is home to the first PlayZone to be opened.

This inclusive facility, developed in collaboration with the local community, will offer wide-ranging opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to be active and get involved in sport.

Derby City Council is delighted to be working in partnership with the Football Foundation and Sporting Communities to create these fantastic facilities in our city.

Ben Rigby, Managing Director at Sporting Communities:

We’re delighted to bring the first PlayZone to Normanton. This inclusive facility marks a piece of new history and a significant milestone for a community that has been underserved for many years.

The PlayZone represents our commitment to ensuring that sport, physical activity and play are central to the well-being of communities and that everyone can access high-spec facilities. This space will not only enhance physical well-being but also serve as a gathering place for families and friends to bond over their shared passion for sports and for people to develop new, positive experiences with sport, play and physical activity. We look forward to welcoming everyone to experience the excitement and energy of the Normanton Park PlayZone.