With Euro 2020 fever sweeping the nation and to mark the start of initial works to refurbish the existing sub-standard pitch into a really exciting Sport England approved football pitch at St Albans Rec, Cambridge Investment Partnership invited Paul Digby and Charlotte Crisp from Cambridge United First Teams to meet children from St Laurence Catholic Primary School and be challenged to a game of ‘keepy uppies’.
The contest was fun and competitive with Szymon reaching 12 and Ndara reaching a staggering 15 keepy uppies. Paul and Charlotte were really impressed with all the children’s skills.
Paul Digby from Cambridge United said: “It is wonderful to see and hear about the plans to deliver this fantastic football pitch for all the local community to enjoy. Football at grass roots is so important and to have a facility like this will be such an asset to local people and local football teams so I am delighted to be here and show my support.”
Tom Hill, Regional Director of Hill added: “We’d really like to thank Paul and Charlotte for taking the time to come and meet the children and see for themselves where we will be refurbishing the current sub-standard pitch into a much anticipated Sports England approved football pitch.
“Once the initial archaeology work has been completed in the next couple of weeks, we will be reopening part of the football area which will allow for more of the open space to be used by the local community in the summer holidays before further works take place in early September.”
Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member commented: “This initial work on the football pitch is an exciting stage in the overall development of our Meadows and Buchan Street site, which will eventually deliver a modern highly sustainable community hub, 106 new council rented apartments, as well as public open space, a new MUGA, public plaza and the retention of a café and shop space.
“I am really pleased that we have been able to accommodate feedback from local residents and are able to open up part of the area again for local residents to enjoy throughout the summer months. I’m looking forward to seeing local teams making the most of the upgraded football pitch from Summer 2022 onwards.”
At The Meadows site CIP will be providing 78 new one- and two-bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one- and two-bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.
The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with the community hub designed to BREEAM Excellent, which is in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.
In addition, there will be electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across the two sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources.
A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new skate area will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 60% in biodiversity for the open space.