In Croydon our local authority pavilions and football facilities fall below the standards we want, with poor quality changing pavilions and average or poor quality pitches. As a result, football in Croydon has declined over the last 10 years, and will continue to do so unless there are changes.
After Sport England and the Football Association invited local authorities to bid for their new Parklife project in 2016, Croydon submitted a successful initial application for support. Since then we’ve completed a study which has determined that modern football facilities at both Purley Way Playing Fields and Ashburton Playing Fields are feasible and viable.
Parklife is a five-year commitment to build multi-pitch football ‘hubs’ across towns and cities in England to create sustainable community football facilities. It aims to raise playing standards and provide more opportunities for everyone to enjoy the game.
If permission is granted, Croydon could potentially secure £5-6 million from the Premier League, Sport England and the Greater London Authority. The rest of the cost would be funded locally. Pending approval, we estimate that construction will take around a year, and aim to start in summer 2019.
What’s happened so far
Following engagement with football teams, three Croydon leagues and a survey of football teams in 2017, draft proposals were developed. During July to October 2018, we engaged with local residents and resident groups for feedback on these proposals.
We have compiled all the feedback received and reviewed it thoroughly. Where possible and appropriate, we have made changes to the schemes and our approach. Our response is set out here: Parklife Croydon: Response to community engagement feedback (August – Oct 18).
Project update – November 2019
In February 2019, the Football Foundation asked all partner Local Authorities to temporarily pause development work on their projects while they reviewed both the national delivery model and individual projects to improve efficiencies in operating costs and identify design improvements. Over the course of 2019 Croydon Council has been working with the Football Foundation to ensure that the proposals for Croydon are sustainable. As such, there has been a delay in the delivery timetable.
A further progress update will be provided in early 2020.