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Filwood to get new multi-use games area

Following a community campaign at the potential loss of play space in Knowle West – Bristol City Council’s Cabinet has approved £300,000 funding for a new multi-use games area (MUGA).

The MUGA will serve the local area with free access to all – and the council is currently looking for a suitable site in Knowle West. The money will also be spent on new flood lights for Filwood Playing Fields.

Last year youth and children’s organisations were so concerned about losing play spaces across the estate they wrote to Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, asking for all new developments to increase facilities for young people and improve ones already there.

Residents, Filwood Broadway Working Group (FBWG) and local football teams also joined the campaign along with Labour Councillor Chris Jackson.

Developer Live West has submitted plans for 29 new homes on the old Swimming Pool site at Filwood Broadway where there is a popular MUGA used by local young people and youth groups.

One of those is StreetSpace which sees up to 100 young people a week and also wrote to the Mayor to campaign about its loss and that it should be replaced.

The MUGA on Filwood Broadway is used regularly for sessions by StreetSpace. Picture and main image courtesy of StreetSpace.

New play areas are set to be built on the Curo development on Broadbury Road and Boklok’s Airport Road site – but they will not be MUGAs.

Knowle West Alliance Co-ordinator, Lucy Holburn, said of the news: “Well done to everyone involved – this was not a certainty. Together we amplified local concerns and demonstrated the need; this is a victory for community voice and influence! 

“Many thanks to local councillors and BCC Officers for responding to the call to action and the hard work involved in moving this forward…”

Cllr Chris Jackson said: “I am delighted that the Council has found funding for a new Multi-Use Games Area in Filwood and new floodlights for the local football team, Filwood Broadwalk FC. 

“This is fantastic news for Filwood, as easy to access, free children’s play equipment is so important for children and young people in wards like mine. As we all know, the Government gives little money to councils for play facilities, so it’s great that despite continued austerity, Knowle West can get some sorely-needed investment…”

He thanked FBWG and the football teams for their campaign and the Mayor and councillors in the housing department for their work “to finally make this a reality.”

“Getting the MUGA and the floodlights would have taken a lot longer if it wasn’t for their hard work, and I am sure they will work equally hard to ensure the MUGA is built as soon as possible…”

The final design and precise location of the MUGA will be made in consultation with FBWG and the football clubs.

The Cabinet Paper that authorised funding to be spent on the Multi-Use Games Area and the floodlights can be found here: Filwood Green Capital Receipts Cabinet Paper – Final V8.pdf