Chris Boardman - Five Acres

Chris Boardman, MBE visits Five Acres to view Levelling Up plans

Members of Forest of Dean District Council, West Dean Parish Council and Five Acres High School recently invited Chair of Sport England and National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, MBE to Five Acres in Berry Hill to view and discuss the regeneration of the site.

Mr Boardman, an Olympic Champion and Tour De France veteran was shown design plans and toured both the site and Five Acres High School to gain a better understanding of the planned development and how this will benefit the local Forest of Dean community.

Regeneration Manager at Forest of Dean District Council, Wendy Jackson said:

“It’s been fantastic to present our ambitious plans for Five Acres to Sport England and to be able to show Chris Boardman around the wider site to gain a better understanding of Five Acres and the surrounding area and how this new facility will benefit the people of the Forest of Dean.

“As a council, we’re working hard with residents, businesses, sports and social organisations to ensure that the facility built at Five Acres will be accessible for all and cater for a wide range of sports and community activities. We have established the Five Acres Community Forum so that local clubs and residents can learn more about the redevelopment and assist with our plans and we’ll have further community events in the coming months to discuss the next stage for Five Acres.

“I’d like to thank West Dean Parish Council, Five Acres High School and the Forest of Dean Gymnastics Club for their assistance on the day and look forward to continuing our work together to inform the design process.” 

The new Levelling Up funded facility at Five Acres will be completed in phases, with the initial phase focusing on dry-side sport and leisure facilities through the re-purposing of the Speedwell building, which will connect through to a new multi-purpose four court sports hall/performance space, party rooms/dressing rooms and separate changing rooms - all with car and cycle parking, including electric vehicle charging points. 

Chair of Sport England and National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, MBE said:

“The plans for the new facility at Five Acres look incredible and will be a real asset to people in both the local community and further afield. 

“Sport has a way of bringing people together like nothing else and the regeneration of this site will be such an important part for people of the Forest of Dean. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the Council, School and local clubs who took time to show me around the site and I look forward to learning more about the development and working together in future.”

Chair of West Dean Parish Council, Councillor Alison Bruce added:

“The Five Acres site in Berry Hill is important for people across the Forest of Dean and we are delighted to be involved with Forest of Dean District Council in redeveloping and regenerating the area.

“The Council has ambitious plans to return Five Acres to a leading leisure facility for residents and we look forward to working in partnership with them and others to deliver this.”

The Council is currently working with sporting organisations to help with funding for facilities like the 3G pitch and are inviting football and rugby clubs from across the district to get in touch to join a 3G pitch group, helping to establish the number of potential users and highlight the benefits of the pitch to clubs from across the Forest. If any football or rugby clubs would like to get involved in the 3G pitch group, please contact [email protected] for further information. 

Along with the redevelopment at Five Acres, Levelling Up Funding will help develop a new University Innovation, Careers and Enterprise Learning Centre at Hartpury University and College and will also be used to help regenerate Cinderford Town Centre which includes bringing vacant buildings back into productive use.

At each location, there will be a focus on addressing the Climate Emergency, with a key emphasis on regenerating and adapting existing buildings, using renewable energy, reducing the carbon impact of developments and support for sustainable forms of transport.

Full details for the Five Acres site redevelopment, as well as documents including the initial designs, frequently asked questions and feedback from previous public forum events can be found at the link below:

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]