• Surrey Canal Sports Foundation created to future-proof around half a million sq ft of sports provision at London’s Sporting Village
• Political heavyweight and former London Mayoral Candidate Steve Norris is appointed as Chair
• Surrey Canal working with Sport England as a project under their Iconic Facilities Fund

Prominent figures from the worlds of politics, sport and business are being lined up to sit on the board of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, a body that will oversee the delivery of a major new indoor regional centre for sporting excellence in South East London. The world-class facilities will sit alongside new homes, jobs, a new park and community facilities, creating an exciting new piece of London.

The sports facilities will be safeguarded by the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, a registered charity set up to ensure the long-term future of the sports provision at the site. The body will develop the best possible sporting offer, put a funding model in place and appoint a management company to run the sporting village in the long-term.

Chairing the Foundation will be former Transport Minister and London Mayoral Candidate Steve Norris who will shortly be joined on the board by other leading names from the sports and business worlds.

The plans are being delivered by regeneration specialists Renewal and will see a series of state-of-the-art sports facilities to serve the local community, colleges and schools, clubs and elite athletes. This will include spaces for boxing, cricket, table tennis, gymnastics, football, basketball, netball, hockey and a new leisure centre with swimming pool.

The Sports Foundation is working closely with Sport England in the development of the plans and the Surrey Canal scheme has reached the final stages of their search to find suitable projects to receive financial support under their Iconic Facilities Fund. As part of Sport England’s plans to provide a lasting sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Iconic Facilities Fund provides National Lottery Investment for regionally significant sports projects.

Mark Taylor, Director of Renewal, said:

“We are making excellent progress towards delivering an exceptional centre of sporting excellence for London. The appointment of Steve Norris and our partnership with Sport England highlight the calibre of our proposals and we welcome their vast experience and expertise in their respective fields. We hope to use the potential investment from Sport England as a springboard for gathering the additional funds needed to deliver this very special facility for the capital.”

Joan Ruddock, Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford, said;

“The creation of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation shows that is real momentum behind the plans and a real commitment to ensuring that Lewisham benefits from world class sports facilities for many years to come. Surrey Canal Sporting Village has the potential to become a major asset to this part of London.”

Steve Norris, Chairman, Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, said:

“I am delighted to be part of this hugely exciting and ambitious project. Surrey Canal: London’s Sporting Village will make a strong contribution towards the 2012 Legacy by addressing the lack of high quality sports provision in inner London. This is also a fantastic opportunity to promote sport and healthy living within the local community who will have access to the facilities at affordable prices.”

Charles Johnston, Property Director at Sport England, said:

“The Surrey Canal plans have the potential to deliver iconic sports provision for London and the South East. We are pleased to support the scheme which will play a key role in promoting sports participation in London, at both grassroots and elite levels. The location and planned transport links mean that huge numbers of people will be able to use the facilities, ensuring the project is sustainable for years to come. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to help deliver a strong sporting legacy as part of the overall development of this site.”

Luol Deng, No.9, Chicago Bulls, said:

“I grew up in South London where I started playing basketball but due to a lack of facilities I had to travel some distance to attend training sessions. I know this played a factor in that many of my friends stopped attending regularly. Through my basketball clinics in South London, I have witnessed the immense talent the area has to offer. I fully support the development of such fantastic facilities to promote Sport in South London; the area in which my career started.”

Robert Key, England and Kent County Cricket Club (Captain), said:

“Having grown up in SE London an indoor sporting facility of this size offers a fantastic opportunity to address the overall lack of facilities in this area. Personally, I am delighted by the presence of an Indoor Cricket Centre at Surrey Canal, and I know that Kent County Cricket have expressed particular interest and support.”

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Sport and Recreation Alliance Chair, said:

“There is a real and unmet need for good sports facilities across the Capital. The relationship between good quality, accessible facilities and high rates of sustained participation is a strong one. So planning proposals which make provision for active lifestyles, like this one, stand a much better chance of building communities which are healthy and happy.”