The residents of Greenmoor community were greatly overwhelmed when Her Majesty the Queen’s representatives for West Yorkshire, Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Zulfiqar Karim attended Khidmat Centre for the opening of Greenmoor Sports Ground.

The event, which was held by Greenmoor Big Local, celebrated the launch of their new sports ground on Spencer Road. This comes after lottery funded company, Big Local, joined forces with Greenmoor community to create recreational facilities for children and young people in the area.

Greenmoor Big Local Initiative Team with Lieutenant Ed Anderson and Zulfiqar Karim – © Phil Jackson – Avanti Foto

Following the allocation of a million pounds, Lidget Green and Scholemoor in Bradford decided to make the area a better place to live. This is part of a pioneering Big Lottery Fund scheme to put decision-making power in the hands of local people. The project is called ‘GreenMoor’, taking part of the name from both areas.

Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson said: “It’s lovely to come here today. It is so heartwarming to see all of the children playing football. So I just like to commend everybody who has been associated with this project and other projects alongside it. It’s a wonderful example of collaboration, community initiative and with some funding as well. It’s a very proud day for me to come to Bradford and see the end results”.

The Greenmoor Big Local Initiative has been running successfully since 2012 with a number of projects to show for it. From capital projects such as the Spencer Fields lighting project and Multi Use Games Areas to service delivery projects such as Well Being cafes for the elderly, Yoga sessions and ‘Pathways to Work’ where help was provided to those searching for employment.

After consultation with the local community, Greenmoor Community Partnership Board recognised the demand for safe play space for children in the area. The construction received £156,000 of funding via Greenmoor Big Local and a number of schools, such as Horton Grange, Farnham Primary worked alongside Greenmoor Big local to discuss what form the recreational facilities should take in 2016. Khidmat Centre, CNet and the Spencer Park Residents all contributed towards the development of the project.

Saira Ali, Team leader Landscape Design and Conservation told the Asian Sunday:“I worked with the community to get a project together and to find out what the requirements were. Initially we looked at the design work and costing, and worked alongside funding applications to be able to deliver this project.

Children of Greenmoor Schools receive medals from Lord Lieutenant – ©Phil Jackson / Avanti Foto

“The response was amazing from the residents. They came together and worked together with us, guiding us, trusting us. Also, the end produce was helped designed by them right down to the colour. It was a project for the community. They knew better than anybody what their needs were”.

The idea for a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) along with the soft ball cricket nets was developed by the Safer Stronger task group for the Sports Ground, which will be accessible around-the-clock. Bradford Council’s Landscape, Design & Conservation team drew up the designs and managed the construction project.

The Greenmoor Sports Ground is located at Spencer Fields, at the heart of the Scholemoor and Lidget Green community and its 4000 residents.

The fields were originally part of the estate of a grand Victorian house called Horton Grange, before becoming playing fields with traditional play equipment and were also used for football and cricket.

Although in recent years the fields have not been used to their full potential, residents have continually discussed developing the space into something more accessible for the community.

Abbas Najib, Chairperson of Greenmoor Big Local said: “This is one of Greenmoor Big Local’s major achievements. We have worked in partnership with the schools and the local people to deliver a project that will benefit the whole community.”