Sewell Construction join Football Foundation and University of Leeds to celebrate opening of new football Hub

Grassroots sport in Leeds receive a huge boost as Sewell Construction complete state-of-the-art Bodington Football Hub

Sewell Construction have recently completed the transformation of the University of Leeds Bodington Playing Fields site in north Leeds. This has created an impressive sports facility boasting three full size LED floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs), a four-team changing pavilion with community café, meeting space, and a car park.  This transformation has been made possible thanks to a £4.3m grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

Over 60 children from Horsforth St Margaret’s Junior Football Club in Leeds played at the Hub as part of the launch celebrations last week.

Chris Soper, Joint Managing Director for Sewell Construction said;

“We’re delighted to see this new state-of-the-art facility open to the public. It’s a welcomed boost to both grassroots sports in Leeds and the wider community, who we can already see reaping the benefits here at the opening today.

“The success of this project is testament to the long-standing relationship we have with the University of Leeds, and we’re proud to have brought a sports development of this scale to fruition alongside our partners.

“It has been an extremely collaborative process; we’ve worked with the Building Information Model and explored other new technologies from concept and pre-construction, right through to delivery. WE used the digital twin of the project to aid communication of site arrangements and plan the proposed methods of work before construction began.

“Built with a reduced carbon footprint in mind, the completed facility includes PV panels, LED Lighting, air source heating and a water quality management system. IT has also achieved an EPC A rating and materials have been selected based on environmental performance to ensure we’re supporting the University on the road to decarbonisation.”

The site will be home to seven junior partner clubs whose 217 teams will have access to fantastic facilities alongside six senior clubs who will use the site for training and match play. The Hub will also be a central venue for the Garforth Junior Football League and West Riding Girls League – which will reach 213 teams by 2027.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity at the University said: “The University is proud to be opening a new facility to support our students and the local community. The pitches have nine, six and five-aside facilities to encourage as many people as possible to take part, particularly children.

“We’re very grateful to the Football Foundation for helping to  make this happen and looking forward to working with our partners to develop new ways to support the community.”

In addition, the facility will host the University’s sports programmes which currently only have access to one full-size 3G FTP. Through the changing pavilion and community café, it will also support West Riding County FA to deliver a broad range of recreational programmes and activities for the wider community.

The Hub at Bodington Playing Fields is a result of extensive work between the Football Foundation, West Riding County FA, Leeds City Council and University of Leeds to progress the development of four Hub sites in Leeds that together would provide 13 new full-size FTPs responding to the need for sporting facilities in and around the city.

As well as Bodington Playing Fields, the Foundation is working with the council to develop three Hubs – at the former Matthew Murray High School site in Holbeck, Woodhall Sports Ground in Pudsey and Green Park in Temple Newsam.

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“This is a brilliant example of how investment from our partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England improves grassroots facilities across the country.

“We know that facilities at schools, colleges and universities, like the one here at Leeds Bodington, are vital to this work and will enable more people in and around the city to have great places to play.”