Jubilee joy...

Certain Future: Groundsman Alan Smith, Trustee Gary Leach and Cllr David Barker pictured in front of the pavilion at Cavendish Fields, which has been preserved as a recreation ground for generations to come.
Certain Future: Groundsman Alan Smith, Trustee Gary Leach and Cllr David Barker pictured in front of the pavilion at Cavendish Fields, which has been preserved as a recreation ground for generations to come.

The Cavendish Fields in Matlock could be preserved for future generations as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The sports fields are to be put forward to the Fields in Trust charity in a bid to keep them as a recreation area indefinitely.

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet agreed to make the application to the Challenge initiative following a request by the Trustees of Cavendish Fields Sports Association.

Matlock town councillor and trustee, David Barker, who came up with the idea for the application, said: “We are very pleased, what it does is preserve the fields as a great facility for many years to come.”

“It gives us a great foundation on which to build.”

The objective is to protect sites through a ‘Deed of Dedication’ which will require the county council to hold the fields for recreational purposes unless alternative replacement fields of equivalent size quality are provided.

The trustees pay an annual rent of £1,000 to the council to lease the fields as part of a 30-year contract signed in 2003.

Cllr Barker said: “The fields were never in jeopardy and we have an improvement programme going on but this decision by the county council endorses our vision for it.

“I’m confident it will be put on the list because they have already said it was suitable.

“It won’t make any physical difference and we won’t get any money for it, but it gives us that foundation to move forward.”

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet approved the application saying it “meets all the criteria for nomination including planning, size, location and accessibility to the general public”.

A spokesman for the council said: “The Challenge initiative aims to safeguard outdoor recreation spaces in perpetuity for future generations in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and as a permanent tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.”

The Cavendish Road Field Sports Association is to be responsible for paying the county council’s reasonable legal and surveyor’s fees involved.

The fields are used by dozens of football teams each week.

With 16 pitches including an all weather training pitch and floodlights, it plays host to dozens of under-11 mini-soccer matches on a Saturday morning, female football on a Saturday afternoon, utilised by junior and adult clubs across the whole weekend and matches during week-day evenings.

A programme of facilities, which saw an £800,000 spent on improvements to the pavilion six years ago, is due to continue with plans to make improvements to the drainage system and extension to the car park to accommodate the growing number of people using the grounds.

There are hopes to improve access to the site, create better fencing on the perimeter, and if sufficient funds can be raised, eventually build a meeting room.