Bicester Councillors were delighted to join residents at the official opening of Whitelands Farm Sports Ground today.
The £5 million project, delivered by Conservative-controlled Cherwell District Council, occupies over 17 hectares on Bicester’s Kingsmere development and includes three football pitches, two rugby pitches, a cricket ground, and a floodlit artificial 3G sports pitch. It will also offer outdoor gym equipment, a cycling circuit, and a jogging track. A flexible facility, as well as the traditional sports resources, there will be a pavilion with a café, and a function room available for the community to hire.
Speaking at the opening Councillor Dan Sames, District Councillor for Kingsmere and Bicester South said: “The ground looks terrific. It’s been a venture worth waiting for – Whitelands Farm will provide first-class sporting amenities for the whole of Bicester. The taster sessions have been great fun and it’s wonderful to see so many residents enjoying all the ground has to offer”.
Bicester is already leading the way in terms of promoting healthy lifestyles. In March 2016, the town was announced as one of the country’s first 10 Healthy New Town sites. The opening of Whitelands Farm Sports Ground complements other work already happening in the town to improve the health and well-being of residents, from Bicester health routes to sport activators, the installation of new cycle lanes and the delivery of North West Bicester eco-town.
Former town Mayor and Bicester West District Councillor Jolanta Lis said: “We are committed to transforming the health outcomes of Bicester residents. Improving both physical and mental health is fundamental to enhancing residents’ lives. Whitelands Farm is an important part of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle for all age groups.”
The centre, which was purpose-built by construction company J Tomlinson LTD, had the support of Bicester Town Council. For Council Leader Richard Mould “it is hugely exciting to see the centre come to life rather than just be bricks and mortar.” He added: “the feedback from the residents has been fantastic.”