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New £1.1m sports hub to be named after Norwich City Football Club’s historic home ground ‘The Nest’

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 17 July 2017

An artist's impression of the redeveloped clubhouse at The Nest. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.

An artist's impression of the redeveloped clubhouse at The Nest. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.

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Plans for a £1.1m state-of-the-art sports hub named after Norwich City FC’s former home ground have been unveiled.

The ambitious project will see the former Anglia Windows Sports and Social Club, on Holt Road in Horsford, redeveloped next year. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.The ambitious project will see the former Anglia Windows Sports and Social Club, on Holt Road in Horsford, redeveloped next year. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.

The ambitious project will see the former Anglia Windows Sports and Social Club, on Holt Road in Horsford, redeveloped next year.

Known as ‘The Nest’, it will feature seven outdoor football pitches, a clubhouse, and spectator facilities.

Norwich City’s official charity, the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF), is behind the scheme and a planning application has now been submitted to Broadland District Council.

Initial plans will see the site’s existing clubhouse renovated and seven grass football pitches relayed by the end of summer 2018.

An overview of The Nest in Horsford, near Norwich. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.An overview of The Nest in Horsford, near Norwich. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.

The charity said that it was exploring options for the project, which could include indoor sports and classroom facilities.

Tom Smith, NCFC’s director and a trustee of the charity, said: “The creation of the Nest will turn a derelict site into a hive of activity where people can learn, grow and spread their wings.

“We do have aspirations to develop the site beyond this initial phase, but these further developments will only be possible if we are able to secure a large amount of financial support in the way of grants and fundraising.

It’s important to note that the football club’s funds will not be used for this development, but the club will work closely with the foundation on a number of initiatives to bring The Nest to life.”

An artist's impression of the redeveloped clubhouse at The Nest. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.An artist's impression of the redeveloped clubhouse at The Nest. Photo: Community Sports Foundation.

The project, which is estimated to cost £1.1m, will create 27 new jobs.

And the charity said around 10,000 people are expected to use the facility each year.

As well as supporting its work with disadvantaged and disabled people across the county, the sports hub will benefit grass roots football teams such as Hellesdon FC and Horsford FC.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Broadland District Council, said: “The proposal to bring this major sporting facility to Broadland is very exciting and it has real future potential to benefit our community.”

The site, formerly known as Anglian Windows Sports and Social Club, closed its gates in June 2014.

Prior to its closure, it was home to various sports and social groups, who all had to find new venues when it shut.

The Nest

The charity’s decision to name the new facility ‘The Nest’ is a nod to Norwich City’s historic home.

From 1908 to 1935, the Canaries played at a ground on Rosary Road, which went by the same name.

Its first competitive match at the stadium was a 0-0 draw against Portsmouth on September 12, 1908, while the final game was a 2-2 draw against Swansea on May 4, 1935.

Its record attendance was 25,037 during a game against Sheffield Wednesday in 1935.

The club moved to Carrow Road on August 31 that year, where it has played ever since.

Jackie Thornton, head of development for CSF said: “As soon as we put the name forward, everyone that heard it really liked the idea.

“As well as the historical significance to Norwich City FC, the name lends itself nicely to what we’re trying to create - a safe, nurturing environment where people can come and develop with us.”

What is being proposed

The charity is aiming to transform the site into a state-of-the-art training and development facility.

The initial phase of its redevelopment will see:

• The repair of external pitches.

• Soccer boxes to provide pitch-side seating.

• Internal refurbishment of the clubhouse to include storage rooms, function rooms, a dining area, meeting rooms and changing facilities.

• Ten bunk boxes, which will provide accommodation for short two to four day residential training courses.

• Landscaping and recreational enhancements.

• Parking, an outdoor gym, and alterations to access routes.

The CSF said following the closure of the sports and social club, it identified five areas that it aimed to address.

They included a lack of quality and affordable community sports facilities in the area.

To comment on the proposals email info@communitysportsfoundation.org.uk

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