Parklife - building multi-pitch football hubs across Croydon
Parklife Update April 2021
In late 2020, as a result of the Council’s financial situation confirmed in the publication of a Report in the Public Interest and the subsequent issue of a Section 114 notice, the Council has taken the decision to formally pause the Parklife scheme. At this point we are unable to commit the Council’s contribution of 30% funding towards the Purley Way scheme.
In pausing, we reconfirm Croydon’s commitment to restart the scheme as and when is possible given that it remains central to delivering the Sport & Physical Activity Facilities Strategy and supporting the development and sustainability of football in the borough.
As such the aim of Parklife, to consolidate the Council’s offer into a smaller number of higher quality sites including sites containing multiple artificial 3G playing pitches, remains a principle strategic objective.
Parklife in Croydon
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. To address this situation and as part of the Croydon’s Sport & Physical Activity Facilities Strategy 2018-2023, the Council has been working in partnership and with funding from the Premier League, the Football Association and Government’s charitable arm, the Football Foundation, to develop and build two state-of-the-art multi-use and all-weather-pitch football “hubs” at Purley Way Playing Fields (PWPF) and Ashburton Playing Fields (APF).
With over 60% funding identified from funding partners the project got under way in 2017 with a survey of the supply and demand for football in the borough and engagement with the three main Croydon football leagues to develop proposals. During July to October 2018, we engaged with local residents and resident groups for feedback via public consultation events on the proposals prior to submitting planning applications for both sites. The report on the feedback received can be found here: Parklife Croydon: Response to community engagement feedback (August – Oct 18).
In early 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 models and identify design improvements. Croydon delayed the planning applications for APF and PWPF, and in this period took the decision to move forward with the PWPF site first with the APF site to be reviewed once the operation of the Purley Way scheme was underway and had been evaluated.
In Spring 2020, work to finalise the design proposals for Purley Way Playing Fields (PWPF) recommenced, taking account of the 2018 community feedback.