This week, the partnership between Plymouth Argyle, Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Albion RFC, and Devonport Community Leisure Limited (DCLL) celebrated the ongoing construction of the exciting new Community Hub at Brickfields.
Last year, Argyle Community Trust brought forward plans to transform the current sports centre into a thriving new Community Hub, designed to provide access, support, and equipment to reduce health inequalities, promote wellbeing, and become a beacon for local community activity provision.
Following the successful granting of planning permission, the existing sports centre has been closed since September for preparations to the building, which has enabled construction to commence on the ambitious new plans. Work has already been completed to strip out the existing services in the building and prepare the foundations for the new first floor.
Across the next few months, construction will continue including the installation of new steel columns and beams, windows, and changes to the decoration. The Community Hub is due to be open in September 2024 and will provide a new bespoke and affordable hub to make local people proud and improve health and wellbeing for generations.
Computer generated images have previously been released showcasing the incredible transformation taking place in some of the interior spaces. The impressive visuals show the inclusive gym and studio spaces within the Hub, the multi-use sports hall, the community café, and bespoke Esports gaming suite.
The Hub forms one part of the planned regeneration of Brickfields, with a separate application lodged with Plymouth City Council to transform the wider Brickfields site to deliver an exciting range of community and sport facilities including new grass and all-weather 3G pitches, play zones exclusively for public use, better access, public areas, and parking.
At the core of the proposals is a new permanent home for Plymouth Argyle’s youth wing, the Argyle Academy, and Plymouth Argyle Women. A decision is due on these wider proposals within the next few months.
Andrew Parkinson, Plymouth Argyle Chief Executive Officer said: “We’re delighted that the work to develop the current sports centre into a Community Hub is progressing well.
“The new Community Hub will allow the Argyle Community Trust to manage these redeveloped facilities to provide the local community with access, support, and equipment to reduce health inequalities and promote wellbeing.”
Mark Lovell, Chief Executive Officer at Argyle Community Trust said: “It has been a pleasure to bring partners of this exciting project together to witness and celebrate the progress made towards providing a community hub that local people will be proud of.
“We are committed to our community, focusing our efforts on removing barriers to participation and offering opportunities that are accessible to all. We can’t wait to introduce this new facility and the many health and wellbeing benefits it will provide to the people of Plymouth.”
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Sport, and Leisure at Plymouth City Council said: “It’s great to see work underway on the Brickfields Hub. We are keen to make sure that this will be a place where people of all levels of health and fitness feel welcomed and valued. We want Plymouth to be a great place to grow up and grow old and revitalising facilities that help people to stay active and supports their health and well-being is an important part of this ambition.”
Maurice West, Vice Chair of DCLL: “It is exciting to see the work to create the new Community Health and Wellbeing Hub progressing apace. The completed facility will provide much needed facilities and services for the benefit of the residents of Devonport and other neighbouring communities.”
Max Venables, Managing Director of Plymouth Albion said: “Work on the site here at the Brickfields is coming on nicely, and it’s exciting to see the progress being made as we get closer to the finalisation a really positive development in Devonport.
“As well as developing both clubs involved, it’s great to be part of a project that will enable us to provide better access for local people to sport and leisure activities, and we can see that progress really starting to take shape now.”
Although the sports centre is closed, the athletics track remains open for public use and bookings, and a group exercise programme is still running on-site.