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Allen Park Pavilion

Exciting Re-opening of Allen Park Pavilion Attracts Premier League Football Players’ Support


Allen Park Pavilion in Queen’s Park, Bedford was reopened yesterday after its massive refurbishment programme was completed. The exciting and innovative Council project attracted over £439,000 in investment from key organisations such as the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sport England.


Kim Farrow and Renee Hector, who are players for Watford Ladies’ FC, attended the opening with The Mayor of Bedford to show their support for women’s football and inspire more girls to get involved in the sport. Bedford Ladies and Girls’ Football Club will be making full use of the facilities at Allen Park which is hosting the Beds FA Fair Play Tournament in July 2015.


Kim Farrow, a striker for Watford Ladies FC, said ‘People playing football perform as well as their facilities let them. As a coach and football player, I know how important it is for people playing sports to push themselves as far as they can go; the improvement works at Allen Park Pavilion will allow girls to try out different techniques and play better football.” Renee Hector, a defender, said “Facilities are very important when it comes to football. A good pitch, goals and equipment are essential for coaches planning sessions so they can get the best out of the girls. I was nine years old when I started playing football and now I am playing for Watford Ladies FC First Team; any girl can play. As long as they love what they are doing and train properly, anything is possible”.


Works began on the pavilion in June 2014 and were completed in December, making the building at Allen Park one of the most advanced sporting facilities of its kind in the Borough. The building now provides a clubroom with an integrated kitchen and toilets, 6 individual team changing rooms, 2 Official Rooms, disabled access facilities and a spectator’s area and canopy.


The pavilion complements the vastly improved cricket squares, football pitches and transformation of the outdoor sports court area, which includes tennis, basketball and 5 aside football pitch.


The Sports Development Working Group, have started putting in place initiatives to encourage participation, improve standards and inspire co-operation between different sports; including tennis, basketball, cage cricket, bowls, cricket and football.


A spokesman for the Queen’s Park Cricket Association said “The improvements to the Allen Park Pavilion and playing surfaces finally give cricket in Queens Park the opportunity to progress to another level; the quality of the facilities before now have prevented clubs from progressing into some of the higher standard leagues. The development of talent has seen an incredible rise over the last 10 years with over a dozen senior teams and representation across all junior levels including a girls’ team.


No other area in the whole of Bedfordshire has a higher concentration of organised cricket within a square mile and I’m glad to see that we now have facilities to match the desire for the game and talent that we have locally. The new facilities will allow teams to host the best clubs across Bedfordshire and create more opportunities for local players to reach the highest levels of the game in the county.”   


Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson said: “This comprehensive refurbishment project is delivering a high quality sports facility for current and future generations in Queens Park.  The Council has worked closely with the cricketers and others who use the site to help shape the work on what will be a sports facility that Queens Park and Bedford can be proud of.  Thanks to everyone who has been involved for their efforts on behalf of the community.  The project has been designed to help create an environment that will encourage people of all ages, including children and young people, to take part in and enjoy sports locally in Queens Park.”

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