New 3rd Generation All Weather Pitch and Changing Pavilion Proposal at Tithe Farm Recreation Ground
Houghton Regis Town Council in partnership with a number of local football clubs and Bedfordshire Football Association are looking to develop a new artificial grass pitch and changing pavilion on Tithe Farm Recreation Ground in the summer of 2022.
This is an exciting project designed to improve sports and community facilities, and to enhance health and wellbeing.
UPDATE June 2023
You can't have missed it, the pavilion is currently under construction. We are posting regular update pictures on social media so residents can see the progress being made. And to celebrate we have a ‘Toppin Out’ ceremony planned for 12th July, please do come along.
We are working hard with the pitch contractors and do hope that they will be on site shortly.
UPDATE February 2023
Great news we have discharged the pre-commencement planning permission conditions, significantly these included a condition relating to the drainage of the site and a condition relating to the access onto the highway.
Due to the national economic climate, the project has been hit with additional build costs, however we have worked hard with both the pavilion contractor and the pitch contractor to identify areas for efficiencies and savings. We have also gone back to our funding partners to explore opportunities for additional grant funding. We are hopeful that we will be able to attract additional funding to help offset the increase in costs. We do anticipate however that we may have to utilise a loan to ensure the projects continue financial viability. We are currently in the process of applying for this. Rest assured though we will not be looking to increase our portion of the council tax to fund any possible future loan repayments.
The pavilion contractors are due to commence work on site in March 2023 and the pitch contractors shouldn’t be too far behind. It is still anticipated that the build will be approximately 8 months so the new facilities should be available during the course of the 2023/24 football season.
UPDATE October 2022
We are currently working with CBC to discharge the pre-commencement planning permission conditions, significantly these include a condition relating to the drainage of the site and a condition relating to the access onto the highway. We are hopeful that these conditions will be discharge in the next couple of weeks or so.
Once completed we will be looking for contractors to start on site November / December time.
It will be a 6 – 8 month build, starting with the new pitch, then the new pavilion, then the re-modelling of the existing pavilion and the car park.
All being well the new facilities should be up and running for the 2023/24 season.
UPDATE March 2022
The planning application was approved by CBC on 16th February 2022. This was an exciting step forward. There are a number of conditions to discharge which are in hand. Details can be found here
The contract for the pitch construction has been awarded to Field Turf. We are looking forward to working with them over the course of the development.
The contract for the pavilion construction has been awarded to T&B Contractors. We are also looking forward to working with them over the course of the development.
Football Foundation Grant Application
The funding application to the Football Foundation was submitted in January 2022 and is currently in the process of being considered. The application is for funding of £950,000. Fingers crossed.
Central Bedfordshire Council Funding
We are delighted to let you know that CBC are providing developer funding in the region of £460,000. How amazing is that.
The remaining funding will be provided by HRTC through the use of developer funding already with HRTC of £230,000, use of ear marked reserves (allocated funding) of around £120,000 and any funding balance to be secured through borrowing. We are confident that this project will be delivered to you at no extra cost to residents.
We are currently awaiting the decision of the Football Foundation on the grant application, this is expected end of May 2022. Once this is secured, all being well, it will be full steam ahead for physical delivery of the project between July 2022 and May 2023.
Tithe Farm is one of four popular recreational facilities within Houghton Regis used by local residents for recreational and leisure purposes and sports clubs for training and match play. The site is also used by the Town Council for events.
The site currently includes 3 full size football pitches and a 6 changing room pavilion that is, due to age, becoming unfit for purpose. Current facilities are limiting the opportunities for people to participate, are costly in terms of repairs and maintenance and generally do not meet the needs of site users due to their aging condition.
The Town Council wish to offer high quality facilities for local residents to support a sustainable and vibrant community. This project has been developed as part of a review into use of football grounds in Houghton Regis and will help to coordinate football use throughout the whole town.
The proposal is to install a full size 3G (3rd Generation) floodlit artificial grass pitch suitable for training and match play on Tithe Farm. The pitch will have one 11 a-side, one 9 a-side, two 7 a-side or four 5 a-side pitches marked out to offer different forms of football. The facility would be of the highest current technical standards as set by the FA and will provide a high-quality training and match play area, and a venue for recreational participants. Alongside this a new 4 changing room facility with a small kitchen area and spectator toilets will be built. The changing pavilion will also have the option for a clubroom / meeting space which, depending on finances, may be a second phase to the development. The new facility will not only be of suitable size and quality but will meet recommended safeguarding requirements to enable use by males and females or adults and children at the same time.
Bedfordshire Football Association and the Town Council have considered different options but the current proposal has been identified to be the most suitable and agreed with the FA.
The diagrams below show a potential layout of the new facilities on the ground.
*Please note the number and size of grass pitches is shown for illustrative purposes only.
Possible pavilion designs (actual design to be confirmed)
As the Town Council is applying for funding through the Football Foundation (a charity funded by the FA, Premier League and DCMS) the site will need to ensure it is accessible for local community groups, has an affordable pricing policy, offers both formal and informal recreation and supports a growth in physical activity levels in the area. Alongside club use of the site, we have already identified a number of health and well-being activities which could take place on the site.
The cost for the project will be in the region of £1.8m. The Town Council has identified an amount of s106 funding and hope to apply to the Football Foundation for a large contribution towards the cost of the pitch. However the Town Council will be looking for additional funding to contribute to the partnership funding required.
Please take some time to read the FAQ SHEET
Contact details are:
Clare Evans, Town Clerk
01582 708540 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Haynes, Head of Environmental & Community Services
01582 708540 email@example.com
Cllr Abby Slough, Chairman of Environment & Leisure Committee
Cllr Edward Costello, Vice Chairman of Environment & Leisure Committee
Last updated about 5 months ago