Area Parks Officer Martin Fensome, who was responsible for submitting the bid in 2004 says that Thurnscoe will be a community facility offering a variety of coaching courses including football, tennis, and basketball, as well as being available for private hire.
"Our new Sports Development Officer should be in place by the end of April," he says, "and he will be responsible for our overall development plan."
Peter Carter, Senior Landscape Assistant with the Council's Landscape Design Group says that the site, originally Hickleton Miners Welfare Sports Ground, was handed over to the Borough for a peppercorn sum several years ago.
"Historically the drainage has been quite difficult because the sports ground is on flat terrain," he explains. "We needed to use our expertise with contracts to fulfil the requirements of the Sports Associations, and took advice from the Land Drainage Association. J Pugh-Lewis are on their list of approved contractors, they put in a competitive tender and took charge of the 16 week project which began last August."
"We needed to restrict the storm water flow into the outfall," recalls Tim Pugh-Lewis "Our first task was to construct a balancing pond (with a capacity of 8,00 cubic metres) with a hydrobrake to limit the flow of water from the pond into the sewer."
The original Hickleton Miners Welfare Sports Ground is believed to have been home to Dorothy Hyman, regarded as Britain's best woman sprinter from 1957 to 1963. This could account for the presence of a 400-metre redgra / ash running track, which needed to be removed by Pugh-Lewis before they could extend the winter games pitch situated inside the circuit. Having improved this facility by installing pipe drains at 5 metre centres and sand slits at one metre centres, the company began the construction of a tarmac footpath around the whole site.
"The"Fitness Trail" which circuits the perimeter and has 8 stops along the way houses exercise equipment including Step up, Beam jump and Instruction Signs," explains Peter Carter. "It's intended to help people to improve their health and will be free to the general public."
Pugh-Lewis's final task was the construction of a hard surface multi-games area the size of two five-a-side football pitches, complete with flood lighting and heavy duty perimeter fencing, three metres high. "We used ball-court fencing with heavy duty rebound panels on the lower section," continues Tim Pugh-Lewis. "This facility is situated close to the main entrance and it needed to be secure both outside and in. The floodlighting has been designed with consideration for nearby residents and will operate on a pay token system."
J Pugh-Lewis finished the project at the end of November, giving Thurnscoe Sports Ground time to settle before its spring opening.
For further information on the drainage and construction services provided by J Pugh-Lewis, contact the company on Tel: 01773 872362 or visit their website at www.pugh-lewis.co.uk