Hackney Marshes - Work begins on new changing rooms and community facilities

Residents, footballers and other visitors to Hackney Marshes will notice work beginning on the new South Marsh hub, which will provide modern changing rooms and community facilities.

The old changing rooms are being pulled down and new, state of the art versions are going up in their place, as part of a multi-million pound investment programme led by Hackney Council and the London Development Agency to improve facilities at the home of grass-roots football.

The new hub will also include community classrooms, an area for spectators to watch football matches and other sports, and a café/bar.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “The South Marsh hub will provide much needed new changing rooms as well as other community facilities to encourage more people to enjoy Hackney Marshes.

“This is a key part of our investment programme which is using the London 2012 Games as an opportunity to give our residents world-class sports facilities alongside the new venues being built at the Olympic Park.”

Hackney Council and the London Development Agency are working together to deliver a wide range of improvements to the Marshes. The Olympic Delivery Authority and NHS City and Hackney are also helping to fund the South Marsh hub.

Other improvements being considered for Hackney Marshes include:
· improved pitches
· new changing rooms on North Marsh and Mabley Green
· landscaping on the Marshes and Mabley Green
· a new artificial turf football pitch on Mabley Green
· Cow Bridge at the top of North Marsh will be modernised, meaning it can reopen to Marsh users’ traffic
· New footbridge over the River Lea connecting East and South Marshes

The South Marsh hub was designed by Stanton Williams Architects and includes features to help it fit into the landscape, such as a ‘living wall’ with plants growing up the building.

The changing rooms will be located at ground-floor level, with community and spectator facilities on the first floor. The main entrance opens into a double-height reception area with views through to the pitches beyond. A corridor to each side leads to the changing rooms. The ends of the corridors are glazed, not only bringing in natural light but also allowing further views out. The changing rooms have been designed to be suitable for use by groups of different ages and genders, with provision for disabled players.

Patrick Richard, Director at Stanton Williams Architects, said: “The new facilities have been specially designed to reflect the distinctive qualities of the landscape and history of Hackney Marshes and the Lea Valley. Living green walls filled with recycled crushed concrete and covered in growing plants, an indigenous green roof that complements the local ecosystem, rainwater harvesting facilities and biomass boilers are some of the innovative features that will make the new centre highly sustainable and allow the building to form an integral part of this unique landscape."

The hub will be built by John Sisk and Son Ltd. It will be located in the south-east corner of South Marsh, adjacent to the car park.

Paul Wilson, Managing Director at Sisk, said: “We are very proud to be working with the people of Hackney to provide these superb new amenities at this, the spiritual home of grass roots football. Sisk has wide ranging experience of sports projects ranging from simple schemes up to the construction of national stadiums – like the new Lansdowne Road - and we are pleased to bring that experience and a committed focus on project delivery to building the South Marsh Community Hub on Hackney Marshes.”

Find out more about Hackney and the 2012 Games: