A new publicly-owned community football facility that is free to local residents will open for use next week.
The first ‘3G’ turf council-owned five-a-side football pitches in H&F will open their gates to the public at Hammersmith Park Football Centre in Hammersmith Park on Monday 29 February.
The launch forms part of a wider revamp of the park, agreed after Hammersmith & Fulham Council stepped in to renegotiate the plans from private company Play Football, to acknowledge the concerns and needs of local residents.
“We worked very hard alongside local residents to secure a better deal for them and now they can finally reap the rewards when these new pitches open next week,” said Cllr Guy Vincent, H&F Council’s Lead Member for Contracts.
The new facility includes a 10-pitch football centre, club house with changing facilities a new café and toilets available to casual park users and a large number of cycle racks.
Play Football agreed with the council a seven-year management contract of the sports centre in place of the previous 35-year lease.
As part of the new deal, the council negotiated free access to three of the pitches for residents with low incomes living close to the centre, as well as a limited parking area and reduced operating hours.
To check if you are eligible for free access, pick up a flyer from White City Community Centre, Wood Lane Community Centre or check online.
Residents that are eligible will need to obtain a membership card to book and use the facilities. The first opportunity to do this will be at the centre on Sunday 28 February between 10am and 4pm.
A previous development scheme, signed in March 2014, was for a long-term lease and planning permission to build all-weather sport facilities, bar and a car park.
H&F Council intervened after residents raised concerns about the scale of the scheme and the loss of potential community use, as the site would be operated by a private company.
Future plans also include re-installation and upgrade of the tennis courts and playground.
QPR legend Les Ferdinand will appear at the first community event to be held on the new pitches, which will be an official opening on Sunday 13 March, between 1pm and 4pm.