Opening day is fast approaching for long-awaited Derbyshire community centre
and live on Freeview channel 276
A topping-out ceremony has taken place for the new Charles Hill Centre, in Loscoe, which is replacing a former 1950s-built sports centre that fell into disrepair and closed more than a decade ago.
The closure forced local football teams to initially uproot and find other venues to host their home games. For the past three seasons they have been utilising a temporary container changing room, which was far from sustainable.
The topping-out event signifies the completion of structural and roof work and Amber Valley Borough Council now expects to open to members, users and the public by the end of January 2024.
The Charles Hill Centre, at Loscoe’s Charles Hill Sports Fields, off Flamstead Avenue, comprises a large community hall that can be subdivided for social functions, meetings and general community use, as well as changing rooms for sports teams and officials.
Outside the large, glazed entrance doors will be a patio area with views over the extensive public recreation park and sports pitches.
Councillor Chris Emmas-Williams, leader of Amber Valley Borough Council, said: “This is something that we’ve been driving for over a very long time. We’re delighted to see the current progress and expect to see it ready for use by the community in around 15 weeks’ time.
“Charles Hill is an amazing place to have this sort of facility, and the views people will be able to enjoy from the new centre are just superb. This place really has a lot of potential for loads of different local groups to use, and we can’t wait to see sports thriving here once again.”
Charles Hill boasts six grass pitches, a cricket pitch and a multi-use games area (MUGA). Inside the new centre will be a bar and fully equipped kitchen to provide on-site catering for indoor events, carnivals and sports tournaments.
The topping-out event was also attended by The Mayor and Mayoress of Amber Valley, Tony Holmes and Lyndsay Cox, the Mayor of Heanor & Loscoe Town Council, Councillor Paul Jones, and Amber Valley’s ward representative for Heanor & Loscoe, Councillor Matthew Jones.
They were joined by John Owen, from Gleeds, the site’s contract administrators, and architect Karen Whysall, of William Saunders.
Mayor of Amber Valley, Tony Holmes, said: “After coming here to see the old building being demolished all those years ago, it’s great that we’re now on the verge of delivering this fantastic and long-awaited amenity for the area.
“Open spaces and physical fitness mean so much to the local community – not just for the people of Loscoe, but the wider community too.”
The new venue has been funded by a range of partners including Amber Valley Borough Council, Heanor & Loscoe Town Council, The Football Foundation, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Charles Hill Community Centre Charity, comprising local volunteers and youth football teams. The project has also received £580,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
Charles Hill recreation ground was originally land donated to Amber Valley in 1955 by local farmer Charles Lawley Hill. His wish was that the space be used for sports and leisure, which gave rise to the construction of the original community and sports centre – the first ever such facility built by a council in the Amber Valley region.
The main building contractor behind construction of the new Charles Hill Centre is Burton-based A&S Enterprises Ltd.
People interested in hiring the community space within the new centre, for one-off functions or regular events, are invited to call 01773 520222 or email [email protected].