Works start on FWP designed community and sports hub

Work is underway to create a vibrant new multi-million pound sports, leisure and community centre in Gloucester designed by FWP.

The Blackbridge Community and Sports Hub will serve the Podsmead area of the city, bringing the community closer together and improving the wellbeing of young people.

Gloucester based construction firm EG Carter has been appointed to deliver the scheme and work has now started on site.

Leading architecture, design and masterplanning practice FWP’s green vision for the community-owned development seamlessly connects its sports areas with the natural environment.

The scheme will provide a stylish two-story community sports hub building with changing facilities, function rooms, gym spaces, community offices, youth working zones and studio spaces.

The community will also benefit from a floodlit 3G full-size football pitch, two full-size football fields and a cricket field, along with extensive landscaping.

FWP carried out the design work for the Blackbridge Charitable Community Benefit Society The hub will be created for the community group on a site that is part of existing playing fields.

As well as architectural design, the multi-disciplinary practice will provide project management, quantity surveying, CDM co-ordination, mechanical and electrical engineering, and structural engineering on the project.

Brad Grime, FWP Senior Associate, said: “We’re delighted that work has begun on a development that will be a massive asset to the local community.

“What we have created will give people access to a wider range of sport, health and leisure activities and offer inviting spaces for social events.

“Our aim has been to secure the site’s continued long-term viable and sustainable use as a mixed-use sports, leisure and social asset by creating an attractive and welcoming complex.

“Once completed the hub will be a place where sports, leisure and community activities flourish and it will play an important role in the health and wellbeing of young people in the district.”

He added: “Sustainability and the natural environment also played a key role in our approach to the design of the hub.

“To that end, we intend to achieve Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s ‘Building with Nature’ accreditation by seamlessly connecting the new sports areas with the natural environment of the area.”

Mark Gale, director of the Blackbridge Charitable Community Benefit Society, said he expected the “fantastic” site to open to the community in early 2025.

FWP, which is headquartered in Preston and has offices in Manchester and London, has built a national reputation for delivering successful community sports projects.

The practice’s strategic advice and design expertise, as well as the ability to work to budgets, proves crucial when sports clubs have limited resources for their plans.