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Lease is good news for athletics club

Posted onPosted on 4th Dec

Mansfield Harriers Athletics Club has been granted a lease to use the race track and pavilion at Berry Hill Park.

Acting as trustees of the park, members of Mansfield District Council agreed to allow the club to lease the track, pavilion and plant room for seven years at a cost of £500 a year. The Harriers will also have to pay a proportion of the service charge, including recharges for any external repairs.

The Full Council was advised that approving the lease would enable the Harriers to apply for funding to pay for improvements and repairs to the sports facilities.

The proposed lease will not prevent the council, as park trustees, from having access to the areas and facilities leased to the club. This is to ensure that other local events in the park that are not specific to the Harriers can still take place.

The Friends of Berry Hill Park supported the proposed lease and the group is in discussion with the Harriers around what works can be undertaken to improve the park and make it more attractive to local people.

Pat Carlan, chairman of Mansfield Harriers, said: “This a great opportunity for the Harriers to return to Berry Hill Park and promote the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“Mansfield Harriers would have been celebrating 100 years of athletics in Mansfield had it not been for the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. We now have the opportunity to develop both the club and the park.

“2021 will be an Olympic year, which will attract interest and the club will be in a position to promote events in the park and looks forward to working closely with the council to make sure that this benefits the community.

“Improvements to the current facilities are expected to start in the new year, thanks to grants received by the club’s president, John Radford, England Athletics, English Cross Country Association, Veolia, Saucony UK, Nottinghamshire Amateur Athletics Association, Mansfield District Council and Mansfield Harriers AC.”

Coun Andy Burgin, portfolio holder for environment and leisure, said: “Leasing these facilities to the Harriers should open the door to improvements at the athletics track at Berry Hill Park. This has to be a good thing for Mansfield and will encourage many more visitors to the park.

“It is very much in line with council priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and to make Mansfield a greener and cleaner place.

“We look forward to working with the club and Friends group to raise the profile of the park and encourage more people to use it and take up sport and physical activity.”