Official launch of £4.5 million sports facility

A £4.5 million state-of-the-art sports complex developed by UWE Bristol has been formally opened.

Hillside Gardens, a new multi-sports facility, just a few minutes away from Frenchay campus was officially opened one week ago (Thursday 26 September). The new facility has been in operation for a year and has provided UWE Bristol Sport and the local community with high quality pitches for football, rugby, lacrosse, American football and ultimate frisbee.

One of the state of the art 4G rubber crumb pitches at Hillside Gardens

Now home to Team UWE Bristol, MOVE, Bristol Rovers and Rockleaze Rangers FC, the development includes two floodlit artificial pitches meeting FIFA and World Rugby standards, a grass football pitch, undercover seating for spectators, pitch-side dugouts, changing rooms and a car park. Businesses and organisations in the local community are also able to hire the pitches for their own use.

UWE Bristol Men’s team face off against Bristol Rovers U18 Academy

UWE Bristol’s men’s football team kicked off the night in a friendly against Bristol Rovers U18 Academy, and other UWE sports teams including American football, rugby and the women’s football team gave demonstrations.

Pictured left, Bill Marshall, unveils celebratory plaque.

Bill Marshall, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Commercial Director officially opened the site to partners and donors involved in the project by unveiling a celebratory plaque.

Alex Isaac, Head of Sport at UWE Bristol, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the finished development – completed on time and on budget – and excited that our sports teams, community partners and supporters are now benefiting from this new high-specification facility. Just a few minutes away from Frenchay campus, we have a new home where we are generating a real buzz around UWE Bristol Sport in a single dedicated venue. We believe this investment will increase opportunities for participation in sport for our students and the wider community for years to come.”

Simon Weaver, UWE Men’s Rugby coach, said: “This is a high class facility that will support the development of the rugby club in the future. The location means students on campus can walk from Frenchay, and the surface is world class.”

Daniel Maher, head coach of the UWE Bullets American Football team, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many UWE Bristol students playing sport in one place. For American football, there aren’t many full size pitches in the UK so we’re grateful to have such a great new place to train and play games.”

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