Work on Brentwood mega football hub may start in a year

An architect is being sought by Brentwood Borough Council to work on a football hub.

But the council says it has no date set yet for construction work to start on the project.

As much as £5 million could be invested in creating a major seven–pitch football hub at the Brentwood Centre.

To begin proceedings, Brentwood Council is advertising through the Government’s procurement portal for an architect “to develop plans through to construction”.

The contract will begin on June 7 and end on September 30 next year – suggesting that is when construction may start. The contract has been valued at between £50,000 to £100,000.

An earlier proposal revealed plans for seven pitches at the Brentwood Centre – two of which will be all weather 3G surfaces. The proposal forms part of Brentwood Borough Council’s leisure strategy.

Under the plans, which were first revealed in March 2020, Brentwood Town Football Club may move to accommodate a revamped Brentwood Centre and to future-proof the area in case of any A12 widening that may take place in the future.

Plans submitted to Brentwood Borough Council suggested that Brentwood Town FC’s main pitch and stadium will move to land closer to Hatch Road. Meanwhile two 3G pitches and five grass pitches will be built on land closer to the A12.

A feasibility report from 4global Consulting Ltd indicates that the Football Foundation sees the project to be of “significant strategic value” to the delivery of the organisation’s priorities in Essex and as such, would be prepared to commit £1.3 million to the total £3.5 million cost of phase one – which would also see new changing rooms and a 200-space car park built.

Brentwood Borough Council could contribute £1.5 million towards the first phase. The shortfall would need to be identified from other funding sources. It is thought the phase one element could generate around £30,000 a year.

Phase two, which includes the construction of a new Brentwood Town FC stadium, would require an additional £1.5 million – bringing the total capital expenditure projected to £5 million.

The total social value projected to be generated by installing two 3G pitches to the Brentwood Centre site is expected to be almost £562,000 per year.

Over a 10-year life span of the facility, this equates to approximately £5.61 million of benefits and savings in social value for the facility alone.

The project, which is unlikely to start for at least two years, will likely follow the £7 million revamp of King George’s playing fields site. This project includes a new pavilion building, splash pad and a new outdoor adventure play area.

A Brentwood Borough Council spokeswoman said there is no date set for construction to start on the hub.

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter