Council to deliver new Mid Sussex Centre for Outdoor Sports

PR2425/RA/MF - 29/03/2022

Mid Sussex District Council has started work to deliver a new 9-hectare Centre for Outdoor Sport to the west of Burgess Hill. 

At a meeting of Cabinet on Monday 21 March, Members were presented with an initial Feasibility Study and draft Masterplan, which outlined a range of sporting facilities that could be provided in the new Mid Sussex Centre for Outdoor Sport.

The project is at an early stage and the Council has provided indicative plans to give local people an idea of what could be delivered on site. Extensive public engagement will be carried out with the local community over the next 12 months to shape and refine the proposals.

Funding for the multi-million-pound project is being provided by developer contributions to ensure essential infrastructure improvements are delivered alongside new homes at the Northern Arc and across Burgess Hill. The Centre for Outdoor Sport will be built on a new site to the south of the A2300 near Burgess Hill and will provide first class facilities for a range of outdoor sports.

Following engagement with national sporting bodies, there will be consultation with local sports clubs and other potential users before any plans are finalised. The Feasibility Study has shown that pitches for multiple sports with pavilions, changing facilities and parking can be provided on the site.

The Feasibility Study has been drawn up in consultation with a range of sporting organisations including Sport England, Active Sussex, the Football Foundation, Sussex Cricket and the Rugby Football Union.

Consultants will now be appointed to oversee the next phase of the project and they will work with local sports groups, and the wider community, to develop detailed designs and ensure the views of all potential users are considered. Feedback from the local community will help to shape the plans over the next year, with the aim of obtaining planning permission in 2023 and opening the new facilities to the public in 2025.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“Residents want to see new infrastructure alongside major housing developments and the District Council has acted to ensure the Northern Arc development delivers.

“The new Centre for Outdoor Sports will represent the biggest investment in sports provision in Mid Sussex for a generation. The Council has secured almost nine hectares of land from the development and millions of pounds of funding to deliver this exciting project.

“We are committed to delivering modern facilities for our local community and this project will make a massive difference to local sports provision and the availability of pitches. Sport makes such a difference to people’s wellbeing and we want to maximise the sporting opportunities available in Mid Sussex.

“The project is still at an early stage but it’s going to be really exciting to see a top-class Centre for Outdoor Sports take shape in Mid Sussex over the next few years”.

Councillor John Belsey, Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said:

“I’m looking forward to engaging with local sports clubs and groups to hear their views on the Centre for Outdoor Sports and using these to shape the detailed design.

“It’s fantastic news that we’re able to deliver an additional 9 hectares of outdoor sports provision in Mid Sussex and it demonstrates our commitment to ensuring infrastructure is delivered alongside new developments”.