Brand new cricket pavilion and changing rooms open to complete Hackney Marshes transformation
A brand new pavilion and changing rooms officially opened at Hackney Marshes on Wednesday, completing Hackney Council's multi-million pound transformation of the Marshes and Mabley Green.
The North Marsh Pavilion, which replaces old facilities that had come to the end of their life, will provide 16 new changing rooms, four officials' rooms, cricket practice nets and a social space overlooking the cricket pitch.
To mark the opening of the new pavilion, Stoke Newington Cricket Club and Pedro Youth Football Club hosted matches and a training session, watched by representatives from the Council and guests from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Football Foundation.
The Council worked in partnership with the ECB, the Football Foundation and other funding partners to build the new high-quality changing facilities, with the changing rooms complying to national football and cricketing standards.
The pavilion is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, with landscaping including a new stand of poplars planted across the southern face of the building. It also incorporates a variety of sustainable features, including a brown roof, which uses the soil displaced from the site, and foundations in the car park and landscaped areas made from the crushed remains of the building it replaced.
The opening of the North Marsh Pavilion completes the Council’s transformation of Hackney Marshes. This has included a new all weather pitches and improved landscaping at Mabley Green, bringing back the football pitches at the East Marsh after the London Olympics, developing the Hackney Marshes Centre, new cycling and walking routes to link the Marshes to the Olympic Park, and the refurbishment of Cow Bridge.
The England and Wales Cricket Board and Football Foundation contributed £800,000 and £1.94m respectively to the £17m Hackney Marshes transformation.
Our vision for the transformation of Hackney Marshes was to make it a fantastic green space with modern sports facilities that made it even more accessible to people in Hackney and beyond."
The new pavilion, built for the community to use, means that even more people will be able to enjoy the Marshes, whether that’s by taking part in sport, watching a cricket match or simply taking a stroll around. I was thrilled to be at the opening on Wednesday to see Stoke Newington Cricket Club and Pedro Youth Football Club enjoying their new home.
Atticus Endean, 11, who plays for Middlesex County Cricket Club and Stoke Newington, said: "I think the new pavilion is really snazzy, it’s really nice. The changing rooms are great. It’s a lot better than it used to be. The old changing rooms were terrible. It’s also such a big impact to have the new cricket nets because we’ve never had nets at Hackney Marshes and it will just help people train and get their eye in for batting and bowling.”
Wilhelmina Garcia, 13, who also plays for Middlesex and Stoke Newington, said: “We now have somewhere nearby to train so we can just come here any use the nets whenever we can! It’s really helpful for our Middlesex training that we’re able to train here when we can.”
Bruce Cruse, ECB Head of Participation said: “The new pavilion and cricketing facilities at Hackney Marshes will empower local communities to have the opportunity to play the game in a way and at times that suits them.
“Our South Asian Action Plan includes a commitment to providing access to cricketing facilities in urban areas across the country and projects like this are a key part of our plans to grow the game, get a bat and ball in more hands and ensure that cricket is a sport that is accessible for everyone.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that Hackney Council has now opened their regeneration project at Hackney Marshes, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.
“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”