Beeston hockey club pitches in to try to grab a chunk of Olympics legacy
BEESTON Hockey Club are trying to thrash out a deal with the city council which could ensure Nottingham shares in the Olympics legacy.
The Bees want to bring the hockey pitch used at the Olympic Games in London to Highfields to replace their worn-out pitch.
But they must have at least a 20-year lease on the land on which they plan to install it to make a bid for it to Great Britain Hockey – and they only have 19 years left on their lease with the council.
Beeston players Alastair Wilson and Harry Martin both played on the pitch for GB men at the Olympics and West Bridgford's Helen Richardson won bronze with the women's hockey team in the capital.
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It is going to be removed now the Olympics and Paralympics are over and the Bees only have until 5pm next Tuesday to formally express interest in having it. Beeston have long wanted a lease extension at Highfields because they have big plans and have been in talks with the council for over a year.
Manager Graham Griffiths has contacted Eddie Curry, the council's head of parks and open spaces again to plead with them to act now. "We want to put an offer on the table to bring the Olympic pitch here to Highfields," he said.
"There is only one thing stopping us doing that – and that is the lease we have with the city council. A lot has been made about the legacy of the Olympics and here we are with a great chance of securing some of it for Nottingham."
Beeston tick every other box in the pitch criteria set out by Great Britain Hockey because they are an England Hockey Board-affiliated club. They are willing to remove the pitch from Stratford at their own cost and can install it at Highfields within six months.
They are also willing to sign up to a Community Use Agreement, which requires them to promise 100 free or heavily discounted hours on the pitch for youth development every year.
"We're running out of time to tick the last box," added Mr Griffiths. "The council have said they are happy to extend the lease, but we need it in writing and fast. We've been talking about it for over a year.''
Mr Curry said: "We have been working with the club and the wider development and improvement of the Highfield sports site and are right behind the club's bid to the Olympic organisers. We are in the process of agreeing the terms this week of a 30-year-lease to the club so that they can go forward with their bid."