Proposed sports hub could see Huntingdon clubs moved into new facilities

Jubilee Park, the home of United Counties Division One side Huntingdon Town.

Jubilee Park, the home of United Counties Division One side Huntingdon Town. - Credit: Archant

Draft plans for a new sports hub in Huntingdon have been unveiled as part of the town council’s bid to develop a crematorium.

Huntingdon Town Council has earmarked land next to Jubilee Park for a purpose-built sports hub for teams throughout the town.

It is proposed that part of the park will be transformed into a crematorium and cemetery, and Huntingdon Town Rowdies Youth FC, Jolly Archers and Huntingdon Town Football Club will be moved.

Within plans lodged with Huntingdonshire District Council, it states: “The key consideration for the success of this project is the relocating, consolidating and improving of the town’s sports provision on another site to enable Jubilee Park to be used for burial ground.”

The proposed new sports hub, which will sit on land owned by Lord De Ramsey, could include spectator’s stands, changing rooms, public toilets, treatment rooms and accommodation for a crèche and dance studio.

Doug McIlwain, chairman of Huntingdon Town Football, said: “What they [the town council] have to appreciate is they have got sports going on next door, on Saturday afternoon. I am guessing they won’t have cremations.

“There will be games Saturday evening and there will be games throughout the week in the evenings, I’m guessing the crematorium will be 9am-5pm.”

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Mr McIlwain said that as long as there isn’t a period of time where the clubs are without a playing surface, it is likely there won’t be an objection to the hub plan. “What they have got to realise is it takes two or three years for a grass pitch to mature and I’m not sure they have got two years to wait. If they put down a 3G pitch that is great but where are the kids going to play?” Mr McIlwain added.

“The new sports facilities have to be ready before we leave [Jubilee Park] otherwise there will be a hiatus.”

A reassurance has been made by the town council that those at Jubilee Park will not be without a playing space.

“The town council has consulted with the various sports clubs and has provided an assurance that there would not a period where they are without pitches,” the planning application noted.

A full application for the sports hub is expected to be submitted in the autumn.

A public consultation took place last Wednesday (August 2) in Huntingdon Town Hall, where plans for the crematorium were viewed by members of the public.