Bowthorpe’s Football Development Centre welcomes �250,000 progress

A Bowthorpe sporting hub in the midst of a �250,000 rejuvenation has opened its doors to Zumba fanatics and domino players alongside students following the refurbishment of several new rooms.

Working alongside City College Norwich, the Football Development Centre kicked off a revamp this summer that included new classrooms and a meeting room built alongside car park and 11-a-side football pitch.

And with work on the pitch in full swing, students from the college have recently moved into the classrooms for their courses, with the space also available for people to hire out.

Gavin Lemmon, county development manager for the Norfolk FA, said that it would be a matter of weeks before additional furniture and a computer-linked TV were installed. He enthused about bringing the community into the centre more regularly, adding: 'The students now have fantastic facilities in which to do their courses and now the community will be able to hire the space in the evenings. It lends itself to more than just football usage, and that's something we want people to be able to benefit from.'

The centre currently has a training area and nine smaller pitches. Plans are for the new pitch to be ready for the spring, and Mr Lemmon added that if things went well the new pitch could eventually be used by local teams such as Dereham Town.

Dick Palmer, principal at City College Norwich, said: 'Students from City College Norwich are already benefiting from the exciting partnership with the Football Development Centre, with over 80 sports students already using the centre on a regular basis. We are looking forward to making full use of the impressive new facilities and on-site classrooms.'

•To hire out a space, contact the centre on 01603 748944

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•Have you got a Bowthorpe story? Contact reporter John Owens on 01603 772439.