Merton’s Cabinet have announced two major initiatives to fully utilise the sports and leisure facilities available to the public in Morden Park.
Morden Park already provides 120 acres of open land for the enjoyment of local people. The site provides a venue for major events such as an annual fireworks display, horticultural show and community events. In addition its recreational value is supported by Morden Park Pool, and the outdoor facilities which include a trim trail, cricket pitch, nine hole pitch and putt golf course, play ground and paddling pool. It is these recreational facilities, which the Council is seeking to improve with two separate major initiatives.
Firstly, the Council is to select a partner to facilitate the use of an additional 50 acres formerly let to London Playing Fields Society, which returned to the direct control of the Council in January 2006. A marketing exercise has been undertaken to ascertain the interest in the provision of sports and leisure uses. This included contacting the Olympic Committee, and has identified four organisations all of who have provided exciting and imaginative outline proposals for use of this area. The next stage will require these parties to provide much more detailed information to enable us to chose our partner and we are on target to make this decision this summer.
Secondly, a partnership proposal is being taken forward to provide a new sports hall and improved facilities at Morden Park Pool. Funded in partnership with Merton College and Greenwich Leisure Limited, this will adjoin the pool and be located to minimise any impact on the landscape and on the adjoining woodland. At the same time the facilities available at the centre will be maximised both for the community at large and, through the College, increased student use both for fitness and for studies in related leisure and sports courses. A planning application for the sports hall is expected this spring with construction beginning shortly thereafter.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Andrew Judge explained. “I am delighted that we now have the opportunity both to secure the valuable landscape heritage of the Park and improve Morden Park’s value as a sporting venue for future generations.”