In recent weeks, construction at the Community Sports Foundation’s hub The Nest has been completed, with the facility poised to open its doors once restrictions are eased.
The £4.6 million pound phase of development has seen the construction of a new main building and the installation of a new full-size floodlit 3G pitch and ‘challenge woods’ outdoor activity area, adding to the facilities that were renovated and reopened in September 2018.
A major fundraising campaign, and support from funders such as the Premier League & FA Facilities Fund, Norfolk County Council, the Greater Norwich Growth Board, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership helped the Foundation towards its target of £4.6 million.
The campaign received a boost in 2019, when Norwich City Football Club pledged £500,000 of match-funding to help raise the final £1 million.
Work was therefore able to begin in 2020 and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the site has now been handed over to the Foundation by the construction team.
Among the features of the new main building are two multi-use spaces that may serve as classrooms or studios, or be combined to form an event, meeting, or conference space thanks to the integrated audio/visual equipment.
The Foundation has partnered with local fitness providers who will deliver sessions in the studios, while there is also a physio room that will be used to provide care and services for adults and children.
The building’s IT learning suite has been sponsored and furnished by club partner Bluespace LTD, who have also furnished the ‘connect’ café area, where participants, parents, and other visitors to the site will be able to relax and socialise once restrictions are eased.
The 3G pitch is the new home of Norwich City Women FC, whose current season was abandoned following the most recent pandemic restrictions.
Jackie Thornton of the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation said: “The journey to get The Nest to this point has been a long one, but to finally see the main building and new facilities come to life is a dream realised for our team.
“We are incredibly grateful to all those who have supported us, and we will be marking that support in a number of ways in the coming weeks and months.
“We estimate that over 12,000 people a year will use The Nest and it will become a home for many of our programmes, as well as being available to the wider community for use, helping to improve the health, wellbeing, and aspirations of people in Norfolk.”
Facilities available to use at The Nest now include:
- Event, meeting, conference space with integrated audio/visual equipment
- Catering facilities/cafe
- Seven grass football pitches
- Floodlit 3G football pitch
- Multi use studio space
- Physio room
- Accommodation for groups in the site’s bunk boxes
- Outdoor classroom
- IT suite
- Challenge Woods activity area
Visit www.thenest.org.uk for more information.