Council's vow over spectator space at Bamber Bridge £2.6m football hub - as parents fume over mud

The facility opened in 2022
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Questions have been raised over spectator facilities at South Ribble's flagship £2.6m sports hub.

Parents whose children play football weekly at the Bamber Bridge Sports Hub near Withy Grove Park, want to know why the design of the venue forces them to trample through thick mud and peer through metal bars to watch their children.

Prams and pushchairs

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There are two full-size 3G pitches at the hub, which are divided up into several smaller playing areas, meaning multiple children's matches can run at the same time. Currently there is only a limited amount of spectator space to one side of the first 3G pitch. Other games are only visible by walking around the outside of the pitches. With dozens of parents attending, a thin strip of footpath - not big enough for a wheelchair or pushchair - is regularly blocked, meaning people walk onto the surrounding grass.

Concerns over disabled accessConcerns over disabled access
Concerns over disabled access

Often families with prams struggle to get through the mud, and parents have been known to trip as they navigate some of the narrow paths close to a pond, trying to reach the far pitch.

One parent said: "Considering this is a new facility cosing millions of pounds, the spectator experience is poor. The council has recently done loads of work on new paths throughout Worden Park, but there's nothing here.

"Mums with prams struggle like mad to get through the mud. People in wheelchairs would really struggle. It's totally inadequate."

Filthy conditionsFilthy conditions
Filthy conditions

"We will investigate to see what we can do"

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The facility is owned and run by South Ribble Borough Council.

Councillor Clare Hunter, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Wellbeing said: “Bamber Bridge Sports Hub is proving to be exceptionally important for the local community and sports clubs, and we are very pleased it is so well used. The facility is designed to have room for spectators running along the pitch (on the side of the playground), as well as the areas inside the building, with refreshments available.

 “Following customer feedback that more spectator space is required, we will investigate to see what we can do. We are dedicated to making sure that the facilities at Bamber Bridge can thrive and that they can be used by our communities for generations to come.

 “I welcome resident and visitor feedback and myself and my fellow councillors will always work to act on concerns. I’d encourage people to follow Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre and Sports Hub on Facebook @BamberBridgeLeisure for updates on our facilities.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.