Why we hire out Papa’s sports pitch

Updated: Jun 10

The Papa’s Park sports pitch is hired out to a sports club from 7pm to 9pm every Monday to Wednesday.

Why did the voluntary committee that manages Papa's Park decide to do this?

By 2019, the sports pitch at Papa’s Park was showing its age: the surface was coming apart, presenting a trip hazard, and the markings were almost impossible to see.

That year, we raised £50,000 from Sport England and replaced the pitch with a Matchplay 2 surface suitable for football, netball and basketball. This huge improvement has led to the pitch being used more often by more people.

However, Sport England gave us the grant on the condition that we raise enough money from the pitch to repair it when needed and replace it once it comes to the end of its life (probably at the end of this decade).

We wanted to strike a balance between having an open-access park and raising enough money to fulfil our obligations to Sport England.

Eventually, we decided to rent out the pitch from 7pm to 9pm every Monday to Wednesday to a single sports club called Go Mammoth.

Why do we rent to just one company?

Papa’s park is managed by a volunteer committee who all have day jobs and don’t have the spare time necessary to administer a booking system. Renting the pitch out to only one company means that we don’t have to deal with ongoing requests for ad-hoc bookings, which are difficult and time-consuming to manage.

Why do we rent for 3 evenings a week?

Renting the pitch out only 3 evenings a week means that it's available to the local community for the vast majority of the time the park is open. The days and weekends remain free, as do most evenings. In addition, during the winter months, the pitch isn't usable from 7-9pm without the floodlights on anyway..

We felt this was a good solution to the problem of raising money for the pitch - and helping with day-to-day running costs of the park - without burdening the committee with too much work or impacting park users too much.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email us at papasparkltd@gmail.com.

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