Agenda item

Angmering Sports Hub Project

This report provides an update on the Angmering Sports Hub project.


The Principal Landscape and Projects Officer presented a report providing an update on the Angmering Sports Hub project and since the committee’s last update received in February 2023. It was highlighted that progress had not been as fast as the Council had anticipated due to Officer involvement in other major projects such as the Littlehampton Seafront Project. Moving forward, a professional team had now been appointed and once the legal agreements were in place, work would commence on site surveys; stakeholder engagement; and drawing up plans. Members were reassured that this work was imminent. The difficulties in funding the project had been explained fully within the report which would be a focus as designs and costs became clearer. The next step would be to look at the constraints of the site and commence engagement with stakeholders.


Having received the update provided, Councillor Cooper confirmed that he had a series of questions that he wished to ask on behalf of Angmering Parish Council. These have been set out below along with the responses received:


·       The current facilities at the site are failing and require a significant amount of money to get them into shape with regards to health and safety – this is putting the playing of football at risk for Angmering based clubs/teams. How will officers ensure this project is delivered within the next 2 years as it has been ongoing since 2015? As a result of the proposed sports hub, Angmering Sports and Recreation Association are unable to apply for sports funding. In response, the update provided set out the next steps planned to include a high level programme. The risks for the project had been acknowledged including the shortfall in funding. The next stage of the project would provide more certainty over project delivery, including costs. A further report would be submitted to the Committee once officers were in the position to take the project to the next phase which would include addressing the risks and the shortfall in funding.


·       The entrance to the sports hub is of great concern to Angmering Parish Council, and the surrounding residents. The current entrance to the pitches is off Decoy Drive – this is not suitable for the projected level of traffic. The entrance must come of Arundel Road and through the industrial part of the development. Can officers confirm that they are also in agreement with this and that it will be included in any proposals. Section 4.5 ii of the report would imply that this is the case. In response, it was confirmed that this was the preferred access route and that it was proposed that proposals would include this.

·       Are we still on track with the Spring date for public consultation and will Angmering Parish Council be involved? It was confirmed that Angmering Parish Council would definitely be included in the public consultation as a key stakeholder. Consultation was likely to start in late Spring/early Summer, officers were due to discuss the programme imminently with the project management team and so an update would be provided to Members once those discussions had taken place.

·       The funding for completion to this project still seems precarious. What reassurance can ADC Officers give the community of Angmering that dedicated officer time will be given to obtaining the shortfall to keep it on track. It was confirmed that once plans had been prepared, Offices would have a much better idea in terms of how much the project would cost. They would then work to establish what options were available in terms of funding and phasing the project. A report would be brought back to the Committee.


Further questions were asked by the Committee. Following on from the questions raised on behalf of Angmering Parish Council, concern was expressed over the lack of progression and the need to ensure that Angmering, which had taken a sizeable chunk of recent development, would receive this asset, not just for the Parish but also for the surrounding area. This project needed to be delivered urgently and reassurance was sought that this would be the case. Concern was expressed in terms of the funding gap identified within the report of up to £4m, as the report had confirmed that any funding gap would have to be met from borrowing which would impact the Council’s revenue budget. Would the Council have to borrow the full amount of the shortfall or would some of the shortfall be reduced by grant funding. In response, The Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer outlined that although he sympathised with Members’ concerns, an answer could not be provided until the business case had been developed. He reemphasised that any request for borrowing needed to prove that the Council’s priorities and objectives would be achieved and would be financially viable.


A further question was asked which was whether a list of other sports bodies that the Council would communicate with could be provided and if approaches had been made to the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board as the development of this facility could be a valuable local asset that they could use.  It was confirmed that initial engagement with stakeholders had been undertaken as part of the early feasibility work. The proposed facility mix had been produced as a result of this engagement to include the 3G pitch, grass pitches, cricket wicket and other facilities. The cricket and football clubs and other stakeholders, including Sussex Cricket, were listed in that document, this included Engand Netball, Sussex FA and Cricket. Rugby would have also been approached, but as they were not listed in those who responded  they possibly did not respond due to nearby location of the Worthing Rugby Club. This would be revisited as part of the next phase reengaging with all stakeholders including sporting bodies. It was highlighted that any business case supporting any grant application would need to demonstrate that the needs of the local community had been met to also include addressing the needs of unrepresented groups and activities.




It was confirmed that the MCC Foundation had no recreational hub anywhere in the district and could be a valuable partner in both facility development via grants or specialist support as well as making the most of the facility when complete. It was highlighted that their contact details were available on their web site and that they should be included as one of the sports bodies to engage with in the future. This was agreed by Officers, and it was confirmed that Officers would investigate all opportunities for funding and would approach the MCC as one of those opportunities.


          The Committee then noted the contents of the report.


(During the course of the discussion on this item, Councillor Turner declared a Personal Interest as Vice-President of Ferring Cricket Club and also as a member of the MCC Foundation).

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