"What on Earth is a MUGA?" we hear you cry! A MUGA is simply an acronym for "Multi-Use-Games-Arena". The basic idea is to provide a cost effective solution to meet the needs of multiple sports within one play area whether it is tennis, netball, football, hockey or basketball etc. Of course, we envisage the open space is also available for summer cross-fit training, yoga, ample room for a flea market. The potential uses for an area of this kind are endless.
The current derelict tennis court area at the park was suggested as another potential facility for development that could be used for many of the associated sports and educational establishments within the LBSA organisation. The initial request has been to the community council to allow a lease for the development of the court and the surrounding area. (See aerial photo of proposed land for development of phase 2 above).
The community council have been mostly positive on this, and have clearly aimed for the LBSA to focus most energy on it. Despite the "Phase One; Dog Park" initially being the main focus of the LBSA, options on the tennis court and surrounding area have also been pursued due to the positive outcome of the council's response.
Why was this classed as a Secondary Project?
Cost - it was looked in to and the initial feedback was that the cost of a project to develop this land compared with the immediate impact and benefits for the mass users of the park is far-outweighed by the "Dog Park" project.
The initial aim of this entire initiative is to reduce strain on the main field while offering the best opportunity to participate in all sports, with minimum disruption to the masses. If the bulk of the grant funding is accessed via application for the most promising option of a pitch at the Dog Park, then it must be prioritised.
It is in the interest of the community council to get the tennis court developed as it has been a long term aim of theirs to regenerate the facility. It is now derelict and deemed a hazard, which the council are held liable for. While the council do not have sufficient funds in order to prioritise to do anything with the facility themselves, a lease to the LBSA to develop it is of course most favourable.
Making the Most of the Area
Despite the Dog Park being the priority for the LBSA, we have continued to explore the options of funding and developing a Multi Use Games Arena (MUGA) in order to utilise this area. On October 23rd 2018, a visit from Matthew Davies of Alumasc Surfaces (MUGA design and construction contractor) was scheduled, and we now have a outlined design and cost proposal for the area. You can access it here*.
This plan may eventually include a process that would involve a MUGA, play area, sprint track and mini futsal playing pitch. The main beneficiaries of such a development would be the netball, pre-school and school establishments, cricket, rugby and football clubs. Depending on cost projections and access to funding options, a staged construction could be considered, provided a lease could be secured.
*Link has been removed temporarily while project is out to tender.