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Health and wellbeing

Sports hub opens in Thurcroft

The residents of Thurcroft, a former mining community near Rotherham, have invested more than half of their Big Local million in much-needed new sports facilities. The ‘Thurcroft Hub’ will also be a focal point for many other community activities.

By Cath McCartan, local resident and Thurcroft Big Local partnership member

Who would have thought that when local resident John Graham and I were sat watching cricket one afternoon, and he asked me if Big Local would give a grant to give the cricket pavilion a face lift, that it would turn into this.

Thurcroft Hub launch day
There was a huge community turnout for the launch of Thurcroft Hub. It includes this adaptable multipurpose space.

When we held our numerous visioning events on how to make Thurcroft a better place, the top achievable idea on the list was the suggestion to refurbish the old pavilion. In the end that wasn’t possible due to its state of disrepair, so we built our new hub in its place. It wasn’t the £1,000 John had first asked for – it was a half a million pound investment.

Our youth club, who used to meet in the cricket pavilion, now has over 300 children on its books and they have been involved with this project from the beginning, coming up with the logo and the name Thurcroft Hub. When I asked why they had chosen the name and logo I was told, ‘The logo is holding hands and working together’. And 100 percent of chose the name ‘Thurcroft Hub’ because they were proud of Thurcroft and wanted to show it.

Thurcroft Hub’s name and logo has been chosen by the youth group who will meet in the new space

I would also like to remember our past chair Alan Bucknall who sadly passed away in September 2016. I am sure he will be proudly watching down. Not particularly at the Thurcroft Hub but at the grants we have managed to secure to help sustain the project. One of his favourite sayings in our meeting was, ‘We can make this million into six.’

The grants we have secured so far include:

  • £24,600 from Power to Change to strengthen our business plan and make sure we have the correct structure in place to sustain it.
  • £10,000 from Carlsberg to build the sports bar.
  • £25,250 from the fees given to our local Miners institute, who became the locally trusted organisation for this project.
  • £20,000 from the local Miners charity to install security cameras and provide chairs.

We have also applied to Sports for England for £42,000 for cricket practice nets and score board. We have already submitted planning permission for this. And we have applied to Sheffield Hallamshire FA for £4,500 to help toward forming new football teams and replace our goal posts. From the responses I have received it looks very positive. So, we are on our way Alan!

I personally would like to thank Rachel Cole from Rotherfed who always supports all our projects, far too many to mention. And Paul and Dean from Keystone Builders, who really took our project to heart. Paul comes from Thurcroft and his mum still lives here. They have built a building that our community can be proud of.

The last thing I would like to add is that it was a team of local volunteers, helping for an hour, a day, an hour a week, or an hour a month, all pulling together, was what helped to make this happen. Thank you to them all!


The old cricket pavillion was damp and dilapidated beyond repair.


A local building contractor demolished the old pavillion and designed and built the new Hub.


Photo from the launch day
The finished Hub looks out over the cricket and football grounds. 


What’s on offer at the hub:


  • Football pitches and a cricket pitch for both adults and juniors.
  • An indoor sports hall for netball, basketball, tennis and badminton.
  • Modern and secure changing facilities for men, women and children.
  • Conference/multipurpose room accommodating up to 80 people and an office/meeting room available for hire.
  • Sports bar and kitchen.

As its name suggests, the Thurcroft Hub will also be a used as focal point for community activities in the area. It will be the base for Thurcroft Big Local and the place to go to get involved in working together to continue making Thurcroft an even better place to live and work.

The fantastic new facility is encouraging people to set up new sports teams.