Pop Brixton is launching a new temporary project, Pop Fields, that it hopes will become a focal point for sports and fitness. An empty plot of land next to its site will be transformed to create a place for residents to celebrate the sporting highlights taking place over summer, from the Rio Olympics and European Football Championships to Wimbledon and the Tour De France.
The project will create a facility local schools, sporting academies and community groups can use, helping to champion Lambeth’s sporting talent, and engage new members of the community in fitness and physical activity. Subject to planning approval, the project will be opening its doors towards the end of May.
Partnering with local community groups, Pop Fields will offer free use of a multi-purpose playing field, sporting facilities, outdoor space and viewing platforms, inviting schools and sporting groups to host sports days, tournaments, exercise classes and public events.
Peter Armstrong, manager of local football and boxing club Afewee, said: “Afewee is a neighbour of Pop Brixton and is delighted that Pop Fields will be opening up just across the road from our current base of operations in Brixton Recreation Centre. Pop Fields will allow us to showcase what we do and engage with the wider community in promoting healthy activities that exist on their doorstep.”
The site will also become an open venue for viewing major sporting events throughout the summer. Sports will be screened, with summer food and drink provided by Pop Brixton’s community of traders, and a partnership between Brixton Brewery, the independent brewery based just 300 metres from the site, and a local publican.
Beyond the local partnerships, Pop Fields aims to involve national sporting organisations and relevant brands to increase the impact of the project. The focus will be on specific events and campaigns with the objective of supporting local sports. Organisations will need to demonstrate a clear social purpose, engage the community in events and opportunities otherwise not available in the area, and providing funding and equipment for local schools and sports organisations.
Sports groups, schools, potential partners and local people are invited to attend a series of workshops starting on 13 April to see how they can get involved with the project and use the space.
Spike Kenny, director of coaching at Give it a Try! said: “We are extremely excited to be asked by the team at Pop Fields to be involved in this innovative project looking to promote sport, wellbeing and fitness in Lambeth.”
Designed by Carl Turner Architects with Lifeboat Studios, The project is a partnership between Pop Brixton and the landowners May Developments, who are funding the project, with 10 per cent of profits being distributed through the Pop Brixton Community Investment Scheme. Dave McCormack from May Developments said, “we are delighted to be working with our partners, Pop Brixton and Lambeth council on this exciting project, providing a sports hub for local community groups and schools to use.”
Cllr Jack Hopkins, cabinet member for jobs and growth at Lambeth council added: “We are excited by the plans for Pop Fields, and its potential to support many of the fantastic sporting organisations that work in Lambeth, whilst inspiring engagement and participation in sports throughout the borough.”
Find out more here.