‘Real community effort’ helps revamp Otley sports pavilion

The official opening of the new-look Wharfemeadows Pavilion. From left: Cllr Ray Georgeson, Janet Sheriff, Dave Curtis, Cllr Mary Vickers, Jim Spencer, Richard Davies
The official opening of the new-look Wharfemeadows Pavilion. From left: Cllr Ray Georgeson, Janet Sheriff, Dave Curtis, Cllr Mary Vickers, Jim Spencer, Richard Davies
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A sports pavilion in Otley has been given a revamp thanks to a ‘real community effort’.

The Pavilion changing rooms at Wharfemeadows Playing Fields has undergone a refurbishment through grants from Otley Town Council and the National Lottery Awards for All, with parents and sports clubs joining in to help with painting.

Local firms, such as Manor Coating Systems, donated materials and contractors worked alongside the site team of Prince Henry’s Grammar School to finish the project.

An opening ceremony saw students from the school playing football, practising cheerleading and leading activities for younger children, alongside Otley Town Junior FC training, Otliensians Ladies’ Hockey team and representatives from the Sports Chevin Group.

Janet Sheriff, Prince Henry’s headteacher, said: “This really has been a community effort to improve this facility for the local community.

“The support from Otley Town Council and the National Lottery is an invaluable resource and the way that local clubs and businesses, parents and carers and Sports Chevin have rallied round to support our efforts had been lovely to see.

“We are looking forward to our students and visiting teams being able to use the Pavilion in comfort and to local clubs getting in touch about playing at Wharfemeadows.”

Richard Davies from Sports Chevin said: “This is a prime example of the value of partnership working.

“The Otley Neighbourhood Plan has highlighted that the overall provision and quality of sports facilities in Otley does not meet the needs of the local community and compares poorly with surrounding districts. 

“We have relaunched Sports Chevin as a partnership of several key local sports clubs, Prince Henry’s Grammar School and members from Otley Town Council and Leeds City Council in response to this, with the aim of developing new, high quality playing and training facilities for, in the first instance, rugby union, football, women’s hockey and athletics.

“Our plan is to develop these incrementally, starting with a number of smaller sites and working towards the creation of a central sporting hub at the eastern edge of town adjacent to the proposed new housing development and relief road.”

Local clubs interested in hiring the Wharfemeadows Playing Fields and Pavilion should get in touch with Pippa McPherson at Prince Henry’s on 01943 463524.