BaseballSoftballUK announces intention to build a new northern facility

Mon 27 Oct 2014

Monday 27 October – BaseballSoftballUK, the development agency for the two sports, today announced an intention to build a new purpose-built baseball and softball facility in Manchester which will help to promote the sports in the North of England.

BSUK believes that the project, due for completion in 2017, will provide the region – and the country – with outstanding community facilities that will enhance baseball and softball development programmes around the region.

The new development will consist of an international-standard baseball field, a fully-skinned softball field, along with a second softball and youth baseball field in the outfield corner of the main baseball field.  The complex will also benefit from access to high-quality indoor practice facilities, a fitness suite and meeting and office space at or near the site.

Great option

Luis Arrevillagas, BSUK’s Regional Development Manager for the North West, said: “I am extremely excited about the possibility of bringing first-class facilities to the North of England – facilities that can be used by everyone in the community and help grow the sports we love.  We are now working hard with Manchester City Council, Sport England and other funding bodies to provide the best baseball and softball facility we can for Manchester and the North.”

“Manchester is a great option for us,” said John Boyd, BSUK’s Joint CEO and Head of Development.  “Greater Manchester is the second most populous area of the country and has great potential for the growth of our sports.  The existing playing community, particularly the Manchester Softball League and the Manchester Baseball Club, will be hugely important to the success of this project, as will the really valuable local partnerships with schools, colleges, universities and corporates that we’ve built up since choosing to work in Manchester in 2005.  Our sports have already taken hold in the North West but we hope this new facility will provide the foundations for another surge in participation.” 

Previous experience

The announcement of a new northern baseball and softball facility follows the completion of BSUK's first purpose-built facilities, the Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex in Slough, which officially opened in July 2013 with a ceremony attended by around 1,000 people.  Since it opened, Farnham Park has been accessed by an estimated 4,000 existing players, 400 new 13-15 year olds, 400 new adult players, 100 primary school children and 20 blind or visually-impaired participants in BSUK’s Beepball programme.

John Boyd said: “Four years ago, we set out to significantly improve baseball and softball facilities across the country.  First we funded improvements for 10 different clubs, then we built a new complex in Farnham Park and today we are moving on to developing a new facility that will service Manchester and the North West.  At each step, we’ve demonstrated a direct link between an increase in the number of people playing our sports and the new facilities.”

Full details for the Northern facility are yet to be confirmed and further announcements will be made on as the project progresses.

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