Plans to redevelop Norwood Hall Playing Fields in Southall moved a step forward last week when Ealing Council and the site’s partnership board selected Lyca Southall Football Club as their preferred partner.
Jointly owned by the council and Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, the site currently features two cricket pitches, three football fields, a running track, athletics facilities and a wooden pavilion building, yet all are in a very poor condition and in need of an upgrade.
Lyca Southall Football Club will now draw up detailed plans for a new pavilion and improved sporting facilities, before submitting bids to a number of external organisations for grants of an estimated £1.1million to fund the redevelopment.
The playing fields are currently only used by neighbouring Villiers High School and Khalsa School during term time, yet remain largely vacant for the rest of the year.
Under the agreement, Lyca Southall Football Club will work with the council to draw up plans and develop opportunities to encourage local people to get active and participate in sport at the site.
The club will also run its football competitions at the playing fields, as well as take up a residence of the new pavilion. Villiers High School and Khalsa School will continue to use the fields for school sport, and will be joined by Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College to accommodate its expanding sports programme.
Once revamped, people using the playing fields will also benefit from the facilities in the new pavilion, which will include changing rooms, public toilets, a kitchen, community hall, office space and storage. There will also be a complete overhaul of all sporting facilities and pitches.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with Southall Football Club to transform Norwood Hall Playing Fields into another community sport and activity venue in Southall.
“There is still some work to be done to secure the external funding needed to get this redevelopment off the ground, but I am confident Lyca Southall Football Club has the skills and determination to see this project through.”
Tommy Taylor, chairman of Lyca Southall Football Club, said: “Once the facilities at Norwood Hall are redeveloped, we would be able to gain momentum on our commitment towards sports development at the grass-root level, along with attracting participation from the entire local community.”
Charanjit Singh Gill, vice-chairman of Lyca Southall Football Club, added: “We are extremely pleased to have been chosen as the preferred partner for the re-development of Norwood Hall Sports Ground. It is important for any club to have their own grounds for establishing academies which, in turn, provide opportunities for the local youth and children. We plan to set-up both a cricket as well as a football academy at Norwood Hall in search for local talent.”