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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Work starts on the £1.2 million Manningham BEAP Midland Road Sports Complex next to Bantams’ stadium

The groundbreaking ceremony took place this morning with prominent council leaders in attendance.

In a groundbreaking ceremony by BEAP Community Partnership, work has begun on the new Midland Road Sports Complex, a sports facility that will be used by the people of Manningham and the wider community across Bradford District.

Next to Valley Parade, the sports complex is attached to the existing BEAP Community Partnership building on Cornwall Road. BEAP manages the sports hall that is currently used to play 5-A-Side football, basketball, badminton, netball, volleyball, and indoor cricket. The project which was initially thought up in 2016 is due to be completed next summer and will see the creation of two new 4G football pitches outside, a renovated indoor sports hall completed with changing rooms and a café.

BEAP Community Partnership is a community centre that exists to focus on the needs of the community in Manningham. It provides services either through itself or partners to address high levels of deprivation and disadvantage in the neighbourhood, in particular the Bangladeshi community. It also aims to engage with local people, helping them to form and action their own agendas for positive change.

The new sports complex is one of the many projects run by BEAP.

Funding for the project has come from the Football Foundation, the Premier League, the Football Association (FA) and the government’s charity that helps communities improve their local football facilities through football grants; the Power to Change charitable trust, Sport England and Bradford Council.

Bradford City Community Foundation, Bradford City AFC’s charity, has teamed up with BEAP on the project, which they hope to use for its community activities throughout the week as well as on Bantams’ matchday.

Humayun Islam, chief executive of BEAP, said: “BEAP is a community centre based in Manningham that runs several different projects, ranging from older people provisions to sports and activities to domestic abuse services.

“This project is the Midland Road Sports Complex; it is something we have been working on for the last four to five years, The project involves developing the site so that we can provide more opportunities to the people in the community and the wider Bradford district.

“We are going to have a new 4G pitch for football and the new pavilion to manage the existing facility. The project is being developed in three stages. The first is going to be the pavilion, the second stage is the new pitch and then finally it is going to be the existing indoor facility that is going to be refurbished.”

Mr Islam described the project as being priceless for the community. He said: “It is an opportunity for the people in Manningham to have a safe area to play football, provide an opportunity to more women and girls, and it is going to be a fan zone area for Bradford City AFC, so it is going to be a massive positive change for the community.

The new sports complex costs £1.2 million and is expected to be completed next summer.

Shahidur Rahman, Midland Road Sports Complex programme lead, said: Today is an important milestone after a four-to-five-year journey where we had our vision to make this sports complex.

“Today marks the official digging ceremony, where we start building our £1.2 million project. We are going to have a fantastic new facility of changing rooms and a café, two football pitches for children and for everybody. This is a fantastic flagship project for Bradford.

“This project is really important for the community in Bradford because we are showing we can do it. We usually hear these kinds of projects elsewhere in posher parts of Bradford. The fact that it is happening on our doorstep in our community in Manningham, is a fantastic achievement. That is why a lot of people, a lot of residents, came today.

“We tried to make the ceremony a bit special inviting a lot of the older people who have been involved in this project down today. It just shows the continuation, the legacy, and passing the baton onto the younger people, that we can carry on and make this project as equally successful.”

Some of the elders of the community were at the event to “pass the baton” onto the younger generation who will benefit from the new project.

Community involvement officer for BEAP, Shad Miah said: “Today marks a new chapter for our community. The project is for the whole of Bradford, but with it being in the heart of Manningham, it is for Manningham first and then everybody else. It is important to get kids into sports for their wellbeing, their fitness, and good health, we should promote it all the time.

“My thing is that we want to see Asian kids not just playing for Bradford City, but for the national team. We’re passionate England fans, but it would be even better to see Asian faces among the players as well.”

Leader of Bradford Council, Susan Hinchcliffe attended the event.  She said: “I am delighted to be here today. This £1.2 million project is going to make a huge difference to the area, right next to Bradford City football club. BEAP has brought a load of funders together to make sure it happens.

“I am delighted that this project is going ahead, it is going to make a big difference to grassroots communities, and they will be able to feel fit and healthy, for all ages.”

Work was scheduled to start last month, but due to the pandemic and a shortage in materials, the launch was delayed until today. Additionally, because of the increased cost of supplies, the cost of the project has increased by £100,00.

Simon Oak, the construction manager for QSP Construction, the main contractor for the project, said: “We are excited to get started on site. It has been a long time coming. The clients have had a lot of let-downs previously, and a lot of disappointments for not getting on-site sooner. So today marks a good milestone, we are on-site and will hand them over a great facility at the end, which will benefit everyone who will live in the local area.

“Also, as a local contractor, it is really good that we can work in our backyard and to be able to put something into the Bradford area. There has been a lot of material supply issues throughout the construction industry and at the moment we never know what it is going to be like from one day to the next, but I’m quite sure from now and handover. There will be some challenges but as a company, we have been training for a lot of years now, we have a lot of expertise in overcoming problems.”

 

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