Top quality netball courts in London will be based in Enfield’s Broomfield Park following a cash injection from Sport England.
Sport England will be offering Enfield Council £100,000 from its Community Asset Fund to go towards the extensive improvements needed for the courts that currently see over 80 teams and more than 1,000 players chest pass, pivot and shoot every year.
The nine courts set to be renovated are dual-purpose, used for both netball and tennis and are crucial to the continuation of the North London Netball League (NLNL) which has been based at Broomfield Park since 1950. There is no other north London netball facility of this size and popularity.
The courts have already received a £150,000 grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust. The additional £100,000 from Sport England will be dependent on the grant terms and conditions and planning approval. Enfield Council will also be working with Historic England and other parties to ensure the improvements are sympathetic to the historic landscape of Broomfield Park.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability, Cllr Guney Dogan said: “The importance of this funding cannot be understated. The NLNL does a fantastic job of promoting and developing talent and providing opportunities for players from all kinds of backgrounds. However they need the appropriate facilities to continue with their work so that netball in Enfield and North London can continue to succeed at a competitive level.
“In addition by undertaking these works we will be able to encourage visitors from a wide area, which will support local businesses as well as the park itself.”
It is hoped participation in netball will increase by a fifth within two years of the new facilities being completed. Work on the site will start in late spring next year, with an aim to finish ahead of the League’s 70th anniversary season in September 2020.
Maria Mitchell from the North London Netball League, said: “We’re delighted that both Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust have awarded grant funding to enable the redevelopment of the netball courts in Broomfield Park. We look forward to working with Enfield Council to see the renovations completed.
“As the North London Netball League approaches its 70th anniversary, it’s great to know our teams will be able to play their sport for many years to come on decent and safe courts in Palmers Green. Netball is growing in popularity and on match day in Broomfield Park it really is fantastic to see so many girls and women playing the sport they love. Hopefully the improved facilities will allow us to bring all the physical and mental health benefits of playing a team sport to even more women in North London.”
Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Mahtab Uddin, added: “We are keen to promote both netball and tennis as fully inclusive activities that can help improve people’s health and wellbeing in a positive and encouraging atmosphere. As well as supporting the NLNL, we hope to start a new walking netball programme for those who perhaps are new to the sport or are not as active. In addition, our Back to Netball programme will re-introduce the sport to those who have not played for some time.”