Works have begun to prepare for a transformation of the Rushford Park complex, which will see new football facilities created for the use of residents in Levenshulme and Longsight.
A planning application submitted by Manchester Youth Academy (MYA) was approved by Manchester City Council in December 2020, subject to specified conditions being agreed.
MYA are now working to progress their plans and have started to prepare the site for construction of new floodlit small-sided football facilities (2 x 5-aside and 1 x 7-a-side 3G turf pitches)
MYA has operated the Rushford Park complex since 2014, when Manchester City Council agreed a long-term lease for the charity to deliver community sport and youth activities from the site.
Their long-term ambition is to create a vibrant community hub that is used and valued by residents, building on football as a hook to attract a wide range of communities to participate in social and physical activities and achieve positive social change.
To achieve this, MYA conducted a detailed process of strategic planning, local consultation and feasibility work, before bringing forward proposals.
Manchester City Council has approved an investment strategy and identified Section 106 funding for the Rushford Park site.
The facility works will cost around £330,000, with construction works targeted to begin this spring and to be completed by the end of summer 2021.
MYA has taken on the management and maintenance responsibilities for the site, as well as upgrading the facilities available.
Courtesy of a grant from Biffa, the previous games court has been resurfaced as a 3G football pitch, providing two small-sided 5-a-side football pitches.
MYA has also invested in the pavilion building, which has included the upgrade of two changing rooms for use by football teams and conversion of further changing space into an open plan multi-function room, for use by education, community and event space.
The works to develop the multi-function space have occurred courtesy of grants from One Manchester and the council’s Neighbourhood Investment Fund.
“We’re pleased to support Manchester Youth Academy’s ambitious plan to double sports participation at Rushford Park, by enhancing and expanding the existing on-site education, youth and community programme,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman, pictured.
“We’re confident that the masterplan will result in significantly improved sporting facilities for the area, providing considerable social benefits for the community, in addition to the core goal of helping more people to enjoy getting and staying active.”
Abdul Qayum, pictured, of Manchester Youth Academy, said: “We’re really excited and can’t wait for this project to be completed.
“For a very long time, our services have been restricted from the existing facilities and this funding will allow us to grow our core activities, responding to local demand for recreational football activities from the site at affordable prices”.