Queensbury Celtic FC Open New Changing Pavilion

Queensbury Celtic FC celebrate 40th anniversary with opening of new changing pavilion

Barry Chaplin, Chairman of West Riding County FA (centre), officially opens Queensbury Celtic FC's new changing pavilion alongside the club's founder and Chairman, Arthur Peel.

Queensbury Celtic FC in Bradford have more than one reason to celebrate as they head into the new football season. With the club celebrating its 40th anniversary, they also opened the doors to their new state-of-the-art changing pavilion recently (Saturday 20 July 2019).

The new changing pavilion was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation.

After netting a £350,642 grant from the Football Foundation, work began on the site in November 2018. The project was undertaken to replace a dilapidated clubhouse that was originally designed as a chicken shed. The old pavilion had poor disability access, as well as inadequate toilet and changing facilities.

The grant has enabled Queensbury Celtic Football Club, who play in the Huddersfield Junior and West Ring Girls football leagues, to build a clubhouse that includes two changing rooms, an officials’ room, a community space for teaching and meetings and a social café area with a new kitchen facility. The pavilion has full disability access, including a lift into the adjacent sports hall.

The aim of building the new facility is to maintain and develop football and other healthy living activities in the local community and to ensure the long-term sustainability of a junior football club that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Queensbury Celtic FC was formed in 1979 by Arthur Peel, aided by a small group of local parents. By the end of the 1980s, Arthur had acquired land at Pit Lane in Queensbury, which was levelled to create the club's grass pitches. Arthur won the BBC’s regional (Yorkshire) Sports Personality Unsung Hero award in 2006 and is currently the club’s chairman.

The club is situated the on edge of Pennine hills and is one of highest junior football clubs in the country at an altitude of over 550 metres. As such, it can experience extremely testing weather conditions in terms of wind, snow and rain, which is reasoning for the club investing in an on-site indoor training venue in 2010. The indoor training space can also be accessed directly from the new changing pavilion.

Queensbury Celtic FC holds the highest FA Charter Standard award of Community Club. Working alongside West Riding County FA the club anticipates that the new changing pavilion will support a growth of 10 teams over the next five years. This will include three new girls’ teams and the development of disability football and activities for older people, including walking football and other healthy living sessions.

Robin Naylor, Secretary of Queensbury Celtic Football Club, said: “Thanks to all those who attended our new clubhouse opening ceremony and helped us celebrate providing 40 years of grassroots football for children and young people from our local communities. Big thanks also to the Premier League, The FA and Government’s funding through the Football Foundation and to Sovereign Healthcare, without this financial support the project would simply not have been possible.

“Its fantastic news that we can now provide our young players, their parents and the local community with a modern, fit for purpose clubhouse to replace the dilapidated shed we have used for the past 30 years. The new facility will help us to extend our activities, hopefully to include disability football, more involvement of girls and older people, coach training and use by the local community.  The new clubhouse is a fantastic 40th birthday present as it will ensure our continued provision of quality grassroots sport well into the foreseeable future.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering this new changing pavilion in Bradford and I am delighted for everyone associated with Queensbury Celtic FC.

“This is one example we want to make people in Bradford aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other cities. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Bradford once and for all.

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”