A SCHOOL has revealed the next stage in its plan to transform an underused field into a vital community sports hub.

Just a few years ago, the Spencer Road site was a neglected, shabby piece of land in one of the most deprived areas of the city. But a major scheme, involving Bradford Council, local schools and community groups, has seen the fields transformed with sports pitches and a cycle and walking path.

Now one of the local schools, Horton Grange Primary School, has applied for planning permission for the next stage – the development of a multi use games area and cricket lanes on the site, which they say will provide a vital community asset.

First announced in 2013, the works to the Spencer Road fields, near the Khidmat Centre, have cost around £95,000. It is expected that the new phase will take the cost spent on the fields to £120,000.

Much of the money has come from grants from the GreenMore Big Local - a lottery funded scheme to support local community groups.

The application describes the site as “dilapidated and neglected” before the project, and said the local community were in “desperate need for green open space.”

It says the facilities will be used by Horton Grange, part of the Exceed Academies Trust, and other schools during school hours and community groups out of hours.

It adds: “City ward at present does not have many sports clubs due to a lack of home facilities. This scheme will provide the ideal opportunity to support a club.”

The project has been hit by setbacks in the past - in early 2016, just before its grand opening, the field was churned up by vandals driving on the grass. However, thanks to community support the pitches were soon repaired.

Duncan Jacques, executive head teacher at Horton Grange Primary School, said: “This is the next step in terms of investment.

“The first stage had a lot of WREN funding to help return the area to grass. Now we have funding from different sources to put in a multi use games area and cricket lanes which will hopefully be vandal resistant.

“They will be open cricket lanes that can also be used for softball. It won’t be nets, it will be something a bit sturdier.

“It is something that is very worthwhile to the community, and worth looking after.

“If all the planning goes through then we hope to open the new facilities in June or the end of the school year, weather dependent.

“Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the area, it has a strong tradition in the South Asian community, so I think it will be a very popular facility.”

A decision on the planning application is expected in the New Year.