September 4, 2019
Esh Build – Esh Construction’s commercial build division – is the principal contractor that is delivering the Football Foundation’s biggest investment to date – three multi-million-pound sports hubs across Sunderland.
The hubs are based at the Community NorthSports Complex in Downhill, Ford Quarry and theNorthern Area Playing Fields in Washington. The £18 million project sees Esh appointed for the construction of the pavilions and infrastructure, and as principal contractor for the pitch work football hubs.
Paul Redman, divisional director of Esh Build, says: “This project is great news for the city of Sunderland. It will help to provide local schools and football clubs with the highest standard of facilities.”
The development is part of a national campaign that’s being headed by the Football Foundation.The goal is to provide state-of-the-art facilities and 4G pitches to support the development of grassroots football. Four new artificial floodlitfootball pitches are being created at the Washington site, one of which can be used for rugby, and a further six pitches across the area, to complement the existing grass pitches.
Paul added: “The project will mean that there’ll be fewer cancellations due to poor weather, so there’ll be more game time. All hubs haveextensive water attenuation ensuring pitches andcar parking areas are well-drained.”
All three site projects, which began in January,are expected to be finished by the end of 2019. Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller believes it will help get Sunderland more active.
He says: “This is the biggest investment in football by the FA in England. They’ve never given £18 million to anybody and they’ve given it to Sunderland.
“When you look at the success of England’s Women’s football team, with seven of their squad having gone through Sunderland, and the men’sfootball team with Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson, you see football is the key sport inSunderland.
“I want more people playing football. Butthese pitches will also be used for rugby andthe facilities will be used for general health. It’s about getting Sunderland active. Our Step-Up Sunderland programme ties into that.
“When these pitches are ready, hopefully, people will use them and we’ll have more successful footballers, a successful football club back in the Premier League and everybody having a good time.”
Esh Construction recently opened a project office in Sunderland as it continues to deliver major construction projects on Wearside, including the Strategic Transport Corridor, enabling works at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and the Football Foundation’s Sports Hubs.
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