“It was nearly 2 decades in the planning, but we did it!”
The new sports and community pavilion at Christchurch Meadows was officially opened by Robert Kirkland, of Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, and Mrs Jane Morris, on Saturday 13th October in beautiful sunshine!
Jane was representing her late husband, John Morris, who was treasurer of the Sports Club, working on the develoment of funding for the pavilion project for many years. Sadly, John passed away in January and didnt see the building completed.
See the photos of the pavilion and opening day in the photo gallery
And lots more here
And here is the Official Press Release
Many thanks to all our friends, sponsors, supporters and contractors who made it possible, including Carter Construction (Derby) Ltd, Armsons & Partners, Sport England, Big Lottery Fund, Central England Co Op Community Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Derbyshire Environmental Trust, Belper Town Council, Derbyshire County Council Community Leadership Scheme, Vaillant UK, and many more friends and supporters who gave time, money, goods and expertise.
The new building, available for hire, comprises 4 team changing rooms, two community rooms, with kitchen. The facility is accessible with ramps, disabled facilities and a lift to the upper floor.
Belper Meadows Community Sports Club now provides excellent facilities for the local community and each of its four sports. It is the premier multi-sports club in the area, set in the midst of the glorious Derwent Valley Heritage site.
The sports facilities include:
- A full-sized all-weather water based hockey pitch, with LED floodlights. This can also be hired for other sports.
- 5 tennis courts (3 hard courts with new LED floodlights and 2 grass courts).
- A large, floodlit, bowling green.
- The cricket pitch, as regularly used by Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s 2ndXI.
The sports clubs have vibrant junior sections and always offer a warm welcome to new members, both playing and social.
Fundraising will continue to complete the pathways, carpark area, landscaping, etc. and to upgrade the brick pavilion.
Belper Meadows Sports Club was formed in 1870 on land, at Christchurch Meadows, owned by the Strutt’s estate. The land passed through many hands, before the Club acquired the freehold in 1960s.
The wooden cricket tearoom was replaced by a new brick built pavilion in 1982. The ’new’ brick pavilion is now over 30 years old and is itself also no longer fit for purpose, in the wrong location to properly support the majority of the Club activities, and doesn’t meet modern requirements.
In 1997, with help from Sport England, the Club installed a sand-based artificial sports pitch, which was subsequently upgraded to a water-based synthetic pitch in 2001, when the Men’s Hockey Club first entered the National League. After 12 years of use, the club built up enough money from ‘set-aside’ funds to replace the worn out pitch again in 2013.
The original wooden bowls and tennis building continued to stand, by the tennis courts and bowling green, near to the artificial pitch, and supported tennis and bowling activities for many years, but gradually, over time, it decayed until it became unfit for use.
After many years of set backs, planning permission was eventually gained for a 2 storey building to replace the old wooden bowls/tennis pavilion and the various portacabins and sheds that had been used as a temporary solution, close to the synthetic pitch, bowling green and tennis courts.
All this time the club had been setting aside funds, fundraising, seeking sponsorship and loans, applying for grant funding. The Club achieved charity status in 2017, as Belper Meadows Community Sports Club, and in the autumn of 2017 building began. The completion of the build, in summer 2018, coincided with both the Men’s and Ladies Hockey 1st X1s being promoted back into their respective National Hockey Leagues, for season 2018-19.