Melbourne Sports Park management deal agreed

2 March 2017

Tennis courts at Melbourne Sports Park Tennis courts at Melbourne Sports Park

The Melbourne Sporting Partnership (MSP) has put pen to paper on a deal that will see state-of-the-art sports facilities in the town come under its management.

The agreement involves South Derbyshire District Council handing over the lease for Melbourne Sports Park to the MSP, which will steer the future direction of the site for the next 25 years.

The £2.5m development came to fruition in September last year and has included the creation of a new pavilion, two high-quality football pitches, three floodlit tennis/netball courts, a floodlit artificial grass pitch, the installation of floodlights on a rugby pitch and new car parking space.

It followed years of effort by the MSP, which as well as the district council includes representatives from local rugby, football and cricket clubs and Melbourne Parish Council.

Melbourne Sporting Partnership Chairman John Harrison said: “The MSP management committee much welcomes the responsibility and challenge of managing this magnificent new facility for the ongoing benefit of the local community on behalf of the parish and district councils and Melbourne RFC, the other landowner.”

Cllr Jim Hewlett, Chairman of South Derbyshire District Council’s Housing and Community Services Committee, said: “The council was committed to helping to deliver these fantastic sports facilities for Melbourne and, once complete, the intention was to hand over management responsibility to the MSP.

“We’re delighted to now be able to do that – it is a milestone we have been working towards.

“Melbourne Sports Park is quite rightly a source of great pride to the MSP and the community and is already inspiring people to take advantage of the many opportunities it offers.”

The Melbourne Sports Park project was kick-started by initial funding of £1m from the district council from a capital receipt and topped up by grants and contributions from the Football Foundation, Sport England, Derbyshire County Council, Melbourne Parish Council and the local community.