Work is complete on the refurbishment of the artificial turf hockey pitch at Magnus Church of England Academy which will secure Newark Hockey Club’s long-term future at the site, its home for the last 20 years.
Back row from left: Arran Coggan, chairman of Newark Hockey Club, Simon Dowdy, facility relationship manager at England Hockey, David Fern, contracts manager at Cleveland Landscape Service Sports, Adrian Grieve, site manager at Magnus Academy, Kelly Evans, inclusion and engagement officer at Active4Today, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council David Lloyd, Angela Pae of Southwell and Nottingham Multi Academy Trust, Andy Hardy, Newark and Sherwood District Council health improvement and community relations manager, Anna Martin executive head at Magnus Academy, Chris Moodie chief executive at the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and Tim Burch President of Newark Hockey Club (front left) at the opening.
The new site was officially opened on Saturday 3 September during an opening event and game. The new facility for the academy students and the wider sporting community will also enable Newark Hockey Club to deliver its development plans to increase hockey opportunities locally and further enhance the clubs well established reputation in the local community and grow its membership base.
Newark and Sherwood District Council provided the initial funding to upgrade the pitch, which will be paid back by Magnus from the leasing fees through a community use agreement. In addition to the pitch upgrade Newark and Sherwood District Council will continue to work with its partners to ensure that the pitch continues to be one of the best hockey pitches in the East Midlands.
The original artificial turf surface, installed in 2001, and its underlying shock pad has been replaced and base repairs undertaken. New LED lighting has been installed to the existing lighting columns to improve the lighting performance for participants and reduce operating costs. The project also includes the replacement of the existing goals and the addition of dug outs for the teams playing at the site.
As well as the District Council financing the project it will also take a lead in the operational management of the pitch by agreement with Magnus through its leisure management company, Active4Today, for a period of 15 years and bookings for use can be made through its existing online booking system.
The refurbishment is one of the District Council’s initiatives to contribute towards its Community Plan Objective of ‘improving the health and wellbeing of local residents’, with the intention that the improved pitch will encourage greater participation in sport and recreational activities within the local community, particularly hockey and football.
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The District Council is committed to investing in sport and leisure projects that will enable significant benefits to the local community and increase access to great facilities. These projects will deliver social, health and wellbeing benefits to residents of our communities, the Magnus Hockey pitch refurbishment is a firm commitment to improving our community leisure facilities and we expect the facility to deliver significant community benefits.”
“Newark and Sherwood is becoming a great area to participate in sport with the new YMCA Community and Activity Village becoming a reality soon as well as the many Active4Today sites across the district in Southwell, Newark, Blidworth and Dukeries which also had a £3m five-lane pool installed last year.”
Arran Coggan, Chair of Newark Hockey Club, said: "We are delighted to see the pitch refurbished and thank the school and Council for their positive outlooks in making this happen. "Being over 15 years old the previous pitch was detrimental to safe hockey. Over 180 players from 5 to 60+ years old play hockey weekly throughout the year and the new pitch will enable to us to provide a safe and secure home for everyone”.
Anna Martin, Executive Head at the Magnus Academy, said: “We are thrilled to have secured a great investment for our academy and students, the partnership working with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark Hockey and Active4Today has enabled us to secure an asset for the whole community”.
Andy Carolan, Managing Director of Active4Today, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Magnus to ensure the new facility will be well utilised by the sporting community of Newark and contribute to the collective challenge of getting more people more active more often”.