UK Foundation feather ‘The Nest’


Norwich The Nest community hub completed Image: The Nest

Construction at the Community Sports Foundation’s hub – The Nest – has been completed, with the facility all set to open its doors once lockdown restrictions are eased in the United Kingdom.

Located in Horsford near Norwich International Airport in England (UK), The Nest is the Foundation’s new community hub. Facilities currently include a new floodlit 3G pitch, high-quality grass football pitches, residential bunk boxes, and a clubhouse with superb catering facilities, all set in a green and leafy secure 22-acre site.

The Community Sports Foundation is Norwich City Football Club’s official charity partner, and help thousands of people every year achieve their goals through sport, supporting some of the most disadvantaged, disabled and talented people across Norfolk. The Foundation’s vision is to support, inspire and help the community.

The Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk (UK), which competes in the Championship, the second division of English football following the club’s relegation from Premier League in 2020. The club was founded in 1902 and the 27,244-capacity Carrow Road Stadium is their home ground.

‘THE NEST’ stated that the £4.6 million pound phase of development has seen the construction of a new main building and the installation of a new full-size floodlit 3G pitch and ‘challenge woods’ outdoor activity area, adding to the facilities that were revamped and reopened in September 2018.

A major fundraising campaign and support from funders such as the Premier League & FA Facilities Fund, Norfolk County Council, the Greater Norwich Growth Board, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership helped the Foundation towards its target of £4.6 million.

The campaign received a shot in the arm in 2019, when the Norwich City Football Club pledged £500,000 of match-funding to help raise the final £1 million.

‘THE NEST’ further stated that following the above move, work was able to begin in 2020 and despite the huge challenges thrown up due to the coronavirus scourge, the site has now been handed over to the Foundation by the construction team.

Among the features of the new main building are two multiuse spaces that may either serve as classrooms or studios, or be combined to form an event, meeting or conference space thanks to the integrated audio/visual equipment.

The Foundation has teamed up with local fitness providers who will deliver sessions in the studios, while there is also a physio room that will be used to provide care and services for adults and children.

The building’s IT learning suite has been sponsored and furnished by Bluespace LTD, who has also furnished the ‘connect’ café area, where participants, parents, and other visitors to the site will be able to relax, socialize and mingle with each other once restrictions are eased.

The 3G pitch is the new home of the Norwich City Women FC, whose current season was abandoned following the most recent pandemic restrictions.

Commented Jackie Thornton of the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, “The journey to get ‘The Nest’ to this point has been a long one, but to finally see the main building and new facilities come to life is a dream realized for our team. We are incredibly grateful to all those who have supported us, and we will be marking that support in a number of ways in the coming weeks and months.”

Added Thornton, “We estimate that over 12,000 people a year will use ‘The Nest’ and it will become a home for many of our programs, as well as being available to the wider community for use, helping to improve the health, wellbeing and aspirations of the people in Norfolk.”

‘The Nest’ facilities:

  • Event, meeting, conference space with integrated audio/visual equipment;
  • Catering facilities/cafe;
  • Seven grass football pitches;
  • Floodlit 3G football pitch;
  • Multiuse studio space;
  • Physio room;
  • Accommodation for groups in the site’s bunk boxes;
  • Outdoor classroom;
  • IT suite; and
  • Challenge Woods activity area.

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