New multi-million-pound grassroots sports facility celebrates major milestone

Construction works have reached the half-way point at the new multi-million-pound football facility, close to the University of Leeds Bodington Playing Fields. 

Sewell Construction invited key representatives from the University of Leeds and Football Foundation last Friday (29th April) to mark the development’s four-team changing pavilion reaching its ‘topping out’ milestone.  

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport, and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said: 

“This is an important milestone in the creation of this key sports facility for the people of Leeds, including our students.  

“We are grateful to our partners and excited that it is another step towards inspiring our community to become more active and involved in sport.” 

Steve Grimes – Head of Football, UoL, Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep, Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – UoL Outdoor Operations Manager scoping out their new pitches

Made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, the site will be developed into an impressive sports facility set to include three full size LED floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs), the overlooking pavilion with community café, meeting space, and parking facilities. 

Chris Soper, Joint Managing Director for Sewell Construction added;  

“It was great to see such progress on site, especially with the pavilion taking shape and the final pieces of structure being laid to the highest point.  

“This facility is going to be such a welcomed boost to both grassroots sport in Leeds, and the wider community, and I know I’m speaking on behalf of the whole team when we say we’re proud to be the ones bringing a sports development of this scale to fruition. 

“We can’t wait for our partners and end-users to see it all come together over the next few months.” 

Bodington Playing Fields is located just three miles north of the main University of Leeds campus, and is also home to The Brownlee Centre, the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre and new 1-mile (1.6km) Bodington Cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.  

Once completed, the new site will be home to six partner clubs whose 142 teams will have access to fantastic facilities. The facility will also be a central venue for the Garforth Junior Football League and West Riding Girls League – eventually reaching 213 teams.  

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said: 

“This site at Boddington is a great example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England, improving grassroots facilities across the country.  

“This funding will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.” 

As well as supporting the local community, the scheme will also be an important home to the University’s sports programmes, as well as supporting the Leeds United Foundation and West Riding County FA to deliver a broad range of recreational programmes and activities for the wider community. 

Pictured from left to right:  
Dave Major – Project Manager, Sewell Construction  | Brian Ford – Head of Capital Development, University of Leeds |Will Wallace – Football Foundation  | Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep  | Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – Outdoor Operations Manager, University of Leeds  | Chris Soper – Joint Managing Director, Sewell Construction  | Steve Grimes – Head of Football, University of Leeds  | Carl Hurdus – Site Manager, Sewell Construction