Everton plan new community hub with 3G pitch near Goodison Park
Hub set to open in Autumn with teen and family zones along with offices for Everton in the Community
Aerial view of Everton's proposed new community hub in Walton
Everton are going ahead with plans to build a community hub next to their free school on Spellow Lane in the shadow of Goodison Park.
The centre will have a 3G football pitch, offices for the club's award winning Everton in the Community (EITC) charity, a a social enterprise café and separate family and teen zones.
Local young people will be invited to socialise at the teen zone, where they can access EITC programmes and facilities, and the hub will have an open-for-all studio for health and wellbeing sessions.
This week Everton in the Community CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE and charity staff gathered to celebrate ‘breaking ground’ on the project.
With work set to be completed by autumn this year, the hub is hoped to be a hive of community activity by day and house many of the charity’s award-winning projects in evenings.
Part funded by the Big Lottery and Football Foundation, the facilities will offer a safe and nurturing environment for local people to acquire new skills and qualifications as well as cultivating the ambitions of those aspiring to a career in sports coaching, activity leadership and early-years development.
Everton deputy chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale (far right) helps break ground at the site of the new hub on Spellow Lane
Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “We are delighted to now be at the stage to commence work on our new EitC Community Hub.
"This fantastic facility will allow us to offer members of our community a safe haven where they can socialise safely; access employment, training, and education and volunteering opportunities; receive support around physical health and provide access for isolated members of our community to engage with us via our programmes.”
Almost the entire ward of Everton falls into the most deprived five percent of neighbourhoods nationally. Child poverty levels in the ward are also high with over half of the children living in poverty.
The Everton ward also faces a number of challenges for issues such as unemployment, housing, crime, health and education as well as local residents facing health inequalities which, at the moment, there is no accessible and affordable community facility in the area which can address these challenges.
With such negative social problems to consider, EITC carried out a variety of consultations to establish the needs of the local community, highlight the challenges that people face and explore the solutions that may bring a significant impact to people’s lives.
Various themes were identified as a result, and the club hopes that the hub will provide a diverse range of activities that will address the extensive areas of need within the L4 community.
The design of the new facility was carried out by Condy Lofthouse Architects with the build contract awarded to Ashlar Construction (NW) Limited.