Abingdon School announces plans for Tilsley Park
4 July 2013
The Vale of White Horse District Council has today issued the following press release in agreement with Abingdon School.
Agreement secures the future of Tilsley Park
An agreement has been reached guaranteeing that Abingdon’s Tilsley Park will continue to play a key role in the town’s future.
The Vale of White Horse District Council is set to lease the popular athletics and sports facility to Abingdon School on a long-term basis with effect from September 2014. Under the terms of the 125 year lease the School will take on the responsibility for managing and developing the site on the Vale’s behalf.
After the site changes hands next year, subject to planning permission, Abingdon School will begin a development project to extend the facility, building a new full-size 3G Rubber Crumb pitch for football and rugby, as well as new pitches for five-a-side football and further provision for tennis.
As part of the joint plan the School will extend the site’s opening hours, making it easier for clubs and local residents to benefit from the facilities on offer. There may also be an opportunity for existing facilities, which have been open since September 1995, to be refurbished and expanded to provide better hospitality and changing facilities, as well as a new dance and gym studio.
Prior to control of the site being handed over, last week the Vale commenced a £370,000 resurfacing of all the existing hockey pitches. Abingdon School will be making a contribution to the cost of this work.
Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Economy, Leisure and Property at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Tilsley Park is a very important local site and we are most grateful to Soll Leisure for their management of the facility in recent years. However, facilities like this cost a significant amount to run, meaning that in order to guarantee its future as a centre for the community we needed to look at a long-term partnership. This agreement with Abingdon School will not only guarantee the future of Tilsley Park, retaining the facility for community use, but will also help to improve the site for the people of Abingdon and the wider area.”
Felicity Lusk, Head of Abingdon School, said, “We are very pleased to be working with the Vale to make Tilsley Park a fantastic facility for the local community, sporting organisations and the School’s pupils. We already work closely with much of the town community who use our existing facilities, so we look forward to furthering our relationships at Tilsley Park. We are a successful School in which sport plays a vital role and we look forward to making the opportunity to participate in sport available to as many people as possible.”