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University works with city council to reopen Sports Arena for community use

University of Gloucestershire is preparing to return to normal opening hours at its Sports Arena and all-weather pitches at Oxstalls from Monday, 16 October, after working closely with Gloucester City Council. 

The facilities had been closed for community use since Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust, which managed the facility for the University outside of daytime hours, announced on 29 September that it was going into liquidation.

Although the University was quickly able to reopen the Arena for teaching and training and matches for students and partner schools on weekdays, it had been closed for community use.

But it will now be able to honour existing bookings for sports activity at the Arena and 3G football and 3G rugby pitches after putting in place additional staffing and facilities arrangements following positive discussions with Gloucester City Council.

While current arrangements will be reviewed at the end of November, bookings beyond this point are not set to be impacted if a new provider is appointed.

Sports Arena opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 9am to 10pm

Saturday: 9am to 7pm

Sunday: 9am to 8pm

Clubs with existing bookings from Monday, 16 October, should e-mail oxsportfac@glos.ac.uk.

For queries about events booked at the Arena, email commercialevents@glos.ac.uk

The University does not manage bookings for the outdoor grass pitches, tennis courts, Astro football and hockey pitches, as these are owned by Gloucester City Council.

The council’s 2G and 3G pitches are now open for pre-booked matches, with rugby, football and hockey matches and training taking place.

This weekend the Park Run is set to return to Oxstalls, with grass pitch bookings for adult and youth football clubs already resumed. Existing bookings for the University’s 3G and 4G football and rugby pitches will also go ahead.

Supporting community wellbeing

Director of Sport and Wellbeing at the University, Matt Tansley, said: “Like everyone else, the news that Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust had gone into liquidation came as a huge shock. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this news at this difficult time.

“The University takes seriously its commitment to supporting community wellbeing, and as such, we have moved quickly with Gloucester City Council to re-open our Arena and other facilities at Oxstalls and Plock Court for community use.

“We are looking forward to seeing the pitches and facilities filled with young people playing netball, hockey, football and rugby again, and sports teams and people of all ages training and taking part in sports activities in our facilities.

“We are working hard to make that a great experience, but it will take time to get things right as we adapt to taking over the running of these facilities.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be inviting clubs to meetings to discuss their requirements and provide feedback as we get back to a regular timetable.”

The University will continue to ensure the latest information about arrangements and facilities is provided here.