Shropshire Star

Site of former sugar beet factory welcomes new sports and social facility

New community sports and social facilities in the village of Allscott have been handed over by a Shropshire construction company.

Mike Sambrook and Neil McManus

SJ Roberts Construction, along with sister company SJ Roberts Homes, is building the new, award-winning, Allscott Meads community on the site of the former British Sugar factory.

The sporting facilities form part of the vision that British Sugar had for the village following closure of the sugar beet factory in 2007, and replace the existing facilities which will now be demolished to make way for further housing.

A new two-storey building provides state-of-the-art changing rooms, function rooms, a kitchen, an office and full disabled access, along with five new football pitches, an all-weather bowling green and a natural grass bowling green which have been installed by specialist sports pitch construction firm, J.Mallinson.

Mike Sambrook, managing director at SJ Roberts Construction, said: “Allscott Meads isn’t simply a housing development; it’s a new and already thriving community.

"From the outset we’ve been committed to not only building sought-after homes, but also the facilities required for sustainable rural living.

"The new primary school opened in September, and with the completion of the sports and social club, we’re a step closer to realising the vision provided by British Sugar.

“The previous sports and social club was already a hub for the existing community, and we’re certain that a wide range of ages across the increased local population will enjoy these new and improved facilities for many years to come.”

Once complete in 2026, Allscott Meads will offer 470 new homes, and in addition to the primary school and sports and social club, work will commence early in 2024 on several retail and commercial units to complete the development.

Olivia Seccombe, head of corporate affairs at British Sugar, added: “During the years when the sugar beet factory was operational, the sports and social club was a focal point for both the workers and residents of Allscott; its closure provided the community and all interested parties with the opportunity to build a legacy for a growing community of all ages.

“The unveiling of the new facilities is the realisation of many years of careful planning and consultation. The team at SJ Roberts Construction has done a fantastic job.”

Neil McManus from Northern Trust, the land promoter and project manager for the Allscott project, said: “This new facility is the culmination of a multi-agency approach to providing community facilities.

"There have been significant financial inputs from both British Sugar and SJ Roberts, and these have allowed us to seek some match funding from Sport England and the Football Foundation to move the delivery from ‘improved and renewed’ facilities, to the superior offering we see today.

“Sport England committed funds to the new all-weather bowling green, whilst the Football Foundation provided funding for the high-quality new junior and girls football pitches as well as assistance with the new changing facilities. What we now have is one of the region’s best community playing surfaces and sports hubs.”