Leader of Broadland District Council, Cllr Andrew Proctor, added:
“The proposal to bring this major sporting facility to Broadland is very exciting and it has real future potential to benefit our community.”
CSF is a registered charity and helps over 38,000 people a year, through various programmes, which include work with disabled and disadvantaged people in Norfolk.
The Foundation has given a nod to the Canaries’ history by electing to name the facility ‘The Nest’, after their home until 1935.
“As soon as we put the name forward, everyone that heard it really liked the idea” said Mrs Thornton.
“As well as the historical significance to Norwich City FC, the name lends itself nicely to what we’re trying to create – a safe, nurturing environment where people can come and develop with us.”
The Foundation is financially independent from the Football Club and organises a number of fundraising events, such as the celebrity football match Jamie’s Game and Run Norwich, the hugely popular 10k road race through the city centre.
It is events like this, and external funding, that are essential to the sustainability of many of the Foundation’s programmes.
“This renovation of the site is a significant investment, and we’ve applied for a grant from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund to make it possible, while we also hope to raise a further £200k from our fundraising activities towards the work”, said Mrs Thornton.
In addition, CSF is exploring options for future phases of the project that would potentially include indoor sports and classroom facilities.
Norwich City FC director Tom Smith, who is a trustee of the charity, said:
“The creation of the Nest will turn a derelict site into a hive of activity where people can learn, grow and spread their wings. It will provide a step-change in the Foundation’s ability to reach out and help thousands of individuals regardless of age, gender or ability. It’s a fantastic project.
“We do have aspirations to develop the site beyond this initial phase, but these further developments will only be possible if we are able to secure a large amount of financial support in the way of grants and fundraising. Once we have gauged the support that we can attract for further development, and when we receive feedback from Broadland District Council on our planning application, then we can set out our long-term vision for the site and begin our journey to achieving it.”
“It’s important to note that the Football Club’s funds will not be used for this development, but the Club will work closely with the Foundation on a number of initiatives to bring The Nest to life. We are proud to be a community Club, and City fans can be proud that their Club and the Foundation are committed to investing in the future of people across Norfolk and East Anglia.“
An overview of the planning application can be found at www.thenest.org.uk
The land has been acquired by The Nest – Norfolk’s Community Hub, which is a subsidiary company of the Community Sports Foundation. The planning application has also been made by The Nest.
Enquiries about the project should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org, FAO Jackie Thornton.