Young people and families across Newark and Sherwood will be able to enjoy new spaces for netball, basketball and tennis this summer, thanks to support from FCC Communities Foundation.

Once UK restrictions from COVID-19 are lifted, the opening of a new multi-use games area (or MUGA) at the YMCA Community and Activity Village will mark an exciting point in the development of the site, as the list of activities available at the Village grows.

The completed project, due to finish in 2021, is designed to have a huge and diverse offering. Facilities in the pipeline include art spaces, education programmes, healthcare, a nursery, community training kitchen and much more.

Craig Berens, Chief Operating Officer of YMCA Newark and Sherwood hopes the new sports areas will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.

He says: “The MUGA will provide fresh opportunities for local families to explore new and exciting ways to get moving and live healthily. Our local public consultations highlighted a real appetite for more netball and basketball spaces in particular, so we’re delighted to be able to directly support that need.”

“It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation has awarded this part of the project with £100,000 and we’re really looking forward to seeing the MUGA take shape.”

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Cheryl Raynor, FCC Communities Foundation’s local grant manager says: “We are delighted to be supporting YMCA Newark and Sherwood with the project and look forward to work starting soon.”

YMCA will be working closely with local business Charles Lawrence Surfaces, based on Jessop Way, to construct the new two-court MUGA. Charles Lawrence Surfaces also developed the sports outdoor facilities already at the site, including an athletics track and two 3G football pitches, one of which has since become home to Newark Town Football Club.

The news of the new MUGA comes shortly after an announcement by YMCA that it has temporarily closed the Community and Activity Village in line with government guidelines to tackle COVID-19 virus.

Despite these restrictions, YMCA Newark and Sherwood are working on positive steps they can take to still support the community from home.

“As an organisation centered around social responsibility, we’re keen to do as much as we can for local families at this difficult time. We will be making the most of online platforms despite the Village being closed” shared Children, Young People and Families Operations Manager, Todd Cauthorn.

“The safety of our staff and visitors are our primary concern, so our team are working hard from home to create as many online resources as they can for all the people who usually visit the Village.”

The charity plans to work closely with Nottinghamshire YMCA to deliver free activities for the local community through their social media channels, spanning health and fitness, family time and STEAM learning for children. The activities will be developed by local YMCA youth workers, childcare professionals and fitness instructors.

Development on the new MUGA will begin as soon as it is safe to do so, with guests able to enjoy the new facilities soon after the Community and Activity Village reopens.

Updates on the Village reopening and about YMCA’s free online activities can all be accessed by visiting YMCA Newark and Sherwood’s social media channels.