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End of an Era: After 13 years, Dunstable Town Council will no longer manage Creasey Park Community Football Centre

AUTHOR

Rachel Connor

DATE

March 28, 2024

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Dunstable Town Council is disappointed to announce that after 13 years it will end its management of the Creasey Park Community Football Centre on 31 March 2024.

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC), the owners of the Centre, gave the Town Council notice last autumn. CBC then initiated a tender process for the management of the facility. CBC have been clear throughout that their priority was to raise more money for CBC funds from the Centre – no criticism has been made of the quality of service provided by the Town Council. The Town Council submitted a bid which would have ensured the centre raised more than enough money to keep replacing the artificial pitches as needed and further develop the centre. However, another bidder offered CBC more money than the Town Council, and so the Town Council’s role will end on 31 March.

Dunstable Town Council is extremely proud to have developed the Creasey Park Community Football Centre since 2011 to the success it is now. The Town Council took the centre from bricks and mortar to a beacon of excellence for facility management and sports development. The Council’s management has created an environment where clubs, teams, players, coaches and volunteers can flourish, develop and succeed both at semi-professional and grassroot levels.

Dunstable Town Council’s mission was to ensure the ‘community’ aspect was always at the core of Creasey Park Community Football Centre. This has been achieved, not just through football, but via parent and toddler groups, long-standing weekly older people’s lunch groups, free school holiday family fun days, pay and play sessions and community hires.

During the last 13 years Dunstable Town Council has invested time and money and worked closely with CBC to transform the facility with key additions such as a second Artificial Turf Pitch and full site irrigation system, along with stadium and building extensions. The centre has been recognised by The FA and Football Foundation as a model of best practice, and the centre garnered national acclaim, including National FA Groundsman awards, Quest accredited for 7 years, and has been Best Bar None accredited since 2015.

Dunstable Town Mayor Cllr Liz Jones commented: “I am disappointed that after so many years of running Creasey Park in what has been an exemplary fashion by the Dunstable Town Council, with no concerns and discontent, that we have not been awarded the contract to deliver the services to the residents of Dunstable from April 2024 onwards. The staff that have managed the facility and maintained the grounds of Creasey Park have been fantastic and thank them for all of the work done over the years to build the centre; build the community and the award-winning facilities. We now must focus on our parks, and open spaces and maintain the excellent delivery to our community.”

Creasey Park Community Football Centre will be under the new management of Bedfordshire FA (Beds FA) as of 1 April 2024. The Town Council will continue to deliver the older peoples’ lunch club and Rock and Roll events at Creasey Park working with the Beds FA. Dunstable Town Council sincerely wishes the centre continued success, hoping it achieves the same level of accomplishment in the next 13 years as it has celebrated in the last.

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