Charles Hill plans approved

nrhn 181012 ''An artist's impression of the new Charles Hill sports complex set for Loscoe.
nrhn 181012 ''An artist's impression of the new Charles Hill sports complex set for Loscoe.

Funding grants are now being sought after plans for a new sports hall, gym and community centre at the Charles Hillsports hall were approved.

The green light given by Amber Valley Borough Council is the latest step towards a £2million overhaul of the once delapidated former sporting facilities off Flamstead Avenue in Loscoe.

With approval in place the not for profit Charles Hill Centre Community Interest Company (CIC), working to deliver the project can now begin to seek funding from various building grants available.

It had already got permission for a floodlit multi purpose all weather sports pitch, complete with spectator terracing and a revamped car park in April.

Board member of the CIC and former Heanor Town FC chairman Jon McCulloch said: “We can now go full steam ahead to apply for the various grants that are available and bring this project to fruition.

He added: “As one funding door opens another closes - we’ve now got to look at which doors are open and how we can get this fund matched.”

Mr McCulloch said the CIC is likely to target sportting bodies and Derbyshir County Council for the money. Such organisations often require planning permission to be in place before funds are awarded.

Amber Valley Borough Council has already agreed to pay £500,000 of the ambitious project - which Mr McCulloch believes would provide a sporting boost for the Ripley and Heanor area.

The scheme would also involve upgrading the current grass football and cricket pitches at the site, which currently suffer from poor drainage.

Mr McChulloch said: “This is about the wider community including Ripley, Codnor and Heanor.

“It will be the first all-weather full sized football pitch in the immediate area which will enable everyone from children all through to seniors to play on there.”

The newly approved chaging room and gym features a community room, which Mr McCulloch says would be available for booking s for various functions - even wedding receptions.

There are also plans to use the new building to run courses to train football referees and cricket umpires

The plans for Charles Hill were first announced in 2011 and if funding is found swiftly, could be up and running by late 2014.

“If we build it, people will come, there’s nothing as sure as that.”