New £430k pavilion takes shape in Blackbird Leys

Football club members with city councillor Scott  Seamons, right, at the site

Football club members with city councillor Scott Seamons, right, at the site

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

THE new Blackbird Leys Pavilion, which will provide a new home for two community football teams, is starting to take shape.

Construction staff working on behalf of Oxford City Council have started building the pavilion on Pegasus Road, which will be used by the Leys Football Alliance.

Made up of Blackbirds FC and Greater Leys FC, the alliance will now have access to changing rooms, official rooms, toilets and a tuck shop.

Alliance chairman Scott said: “The pavilion will provide a new home for the football clubs.

“The tuck shop will create revenue to put the clubs on a more sustainable financial footing.

“Our hope is with the new home the clubs will be able to continue to grow and flourish.”

The £430,000 project replaces an existing facility condemned almost eight years ago due to asbestos.

Kevin Trendell, who runs Blackbirds FC, said: “This is a big deal.

“The old pavilion’s tuck shop funded the club, and since that’s gone it’s been a real struggle for us to pay for pitches and attract new members.

“I hope this will increase the number of players for the team.”

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Mr Seamons said that the pavilion led to the creation of Leys Football Alliance, which is the first time that the two teams have come together on a joint project.

He said: “We wanted both clubs to take advantage of the new facilities and, as a councillor, my ward stretches across both Greater Leys and Blackbird Leys so it seemed appropriate that I would chair it.

“It’ll be nicer for the boys.

“They will have somewhere to get changed, rather than the side of the pitch, and can get something to eat.

“We hope that the pavilion will be completed in June, before the next football season.”

The work is part of Oxford City Council’s pavilion modernisation programme which aims to modernise 12 pavilions and build a brand new facility at Grandpont Recreation Ground.

Mark Lygo, board member for parks, sports and events, said: “This facility will provide local teams with a high standard of facilities and we hope it will increase the number of players.”

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