Sports hub plan is unveiled for site that includes Heanor Town Football Club

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Ambitious plans to transform the site which includes Heanor Town Football Club into a sports hub in a bid to encourage more young people to get fit and healthy have been unveiled.

The proposals are in the very early stages and would involve the football club and cricket and bowls clubs which also use the Town Ground site at Mayfield Avenue.

Amber Valley Borough Council is behind the move which would see it working alongside football club chairman Geoff Clarence, who owns the site.

It wants to create a ‘community sports hub’ at the site which would act is a catalyst to get young people from the town involved in sport.

The proposals were announced after the borough council gave a grant of £5,000 to pay for improvements to floodlights at the ground.

Borough councillor Stephen Hayes said: “Geoff has done a fantastic job improving the football facilities at the Town Ground since he took over in May, 2013, and it is great that the football team is also doing well in the league.

“A successful football club is really important for local 
communities and we are keen to work with Geoff and the other users of the ground to ensure that the facilities can be developed to benefit the whole town.”

Heanor Town are currently unbeaten in the league.

Kirk Monk, assistant director of well-being at the council, said: “The plans to develop the Town Ground as a community sports hub are only in their early days at the moment and until it’s been explored further there’s not too much that we can say about the plans. The urgent issue we’re looking at right now is the drainage on the site, which 
obviously has an affect on all the sports clubs that use the Town Ground. Once that’s looked at we’ll take it from there.”

The Lions share the ground with Heanor Town Cricket Club and Heanor Town Bowls Club who will both be involved in any future development.

Mr Monk added: “It’s not all about the football club and what we can do to help them. We’ve been in positive discussions with Heanor Town Cricket Club as well.

“We are really looking at growing the participation in the three clubs currently using the site and with a big push on trying to get more youngsters playing sport.”

Mr Monk added: “Geoff has his own 
ambition for the club and has a great desire to get them up to the next level in the football pyramid.

“We at the council are very supportive of what he hopes to achieve and all of the hard work put in by Geoff and the staff at Heanor Town has not gone unnoticed, everyone involved with the club 
deserves great credit.

“We’re expecting it to be at least six to eight weeks before any official plans are drawn up outlining exactly what we’re thinking about doing but as I’ve said, it’s very early days.”

Football club chairman Mr Clarence said after the floodlights grant: “We are very thankful for the financial support from Amber Valley Borough Council.

“Work can now be completed over the summer to bring the floodlights on the two telecommunication masts up to standard.”