Deadline extended for Grayfields bids amid pandemic - future of Hartlepool sports facility still up for grabs

More time is being given to community organisations to bid to run a sports facility in Hartlepool on a 25-year lease due to the coronavirus outbreak.

By Nic Marko
Monday, 6th April 2020, 2:13 pm
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 5:28 pm
The Grayfields site
The Grayfields site

External groups had originally been asked for bids to be submitted by 12 noon on Friday April 17th to run Grayfields Recreation Ground and Pavilion in Jesmond Road.

The deadline has now been extended until 12 noon on Friday July 17 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Ahead of the transfer of the site, it will undergo a £160,000 investment which will include the reinstatement of the artificial grass pitch and other minor works to ensure the facility is fit for future long-term use.

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This comes after the original artificial pitch was deregistered by the Football Association and closed in 2014.

The facility will offer a 3G pitch, a modern pavilion building with changing rooms, showers and a first floor community room and kitchen.

There are also grass football pitches for both junior and adult teams and a grass cricket oval.

Council officers previously stated The Football Foundation and FA are also supportive of the community asset transfer of the site, subject to the whole site being returned to a reasonable condition.

The proposed move to a community-run model is part of a recently-announced multi-million pound investment by the council to develop 21st century leisure facilities across the town.

The strategy includes a new leisure centre on the Waterfront to replace Mill House Leisure Centre, and also features improvements to Brierton Sports Centre, Headland Sports Hall and Hartlepool Indoor Bowls Club.

Ian Gardiner, the council’s head of leisure, recreation and participation, said the plans for Grayfields will allow more people to take part in sporting activity in Hartlepool.

He said: “We believe that transferring the Grayfields site will represent a positive step forward in terms of increasing participation in football by local girls, boys, women and men.”

More information about operating the Grayfields site, including how to apply and the terms and conditions of the lease, is available on the council’s website.

Anyone interested should visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/downloads/download/1220/grayfields or email [email protected] for more details.