THE first brick for a new pavilion has been laid as work to build the £1.2 million sports complex next to Valley Parade continues.

At the start of September, it was announced that the work would be completed in three phases; the creation of the pavilion, the 5G outdoor pitches, one nine-a-side and two five-a-side pitches, and the refurbishment of the BEAP sports hall.

Midland Road Sports Complex, attached to the existing BEAP Community Partnership building on Cornwall Road, will include a whole of new facilities for the community in Manningham and beyond.

The new complex will feature changing rooms, a pavilion, cafe and three 5G football pitches for five and nine-a-side matches.

Funding for the project has come from the Football Foundation, the Premier League, the FA and government’s charity that helps communities improve their local football facilities through football grants; the Power to Change charitable trust, Sport England and Bradford Council, the latter pumping in £100,000 for the project.

Humayun Islam, BEAP chief executive, who has helped spearhead the project, said: "We are capturing all of the moments stage by stage.

"All the work so far is going really well and according to plan.

"It is about giving the community opportunity to use this fantastic facility.

"It has been hard to get it over the line so it is amazing that we have been able to get this project started and hopefully finished in the new year.

"It will be quite exciting having a huge complex on the doorstep of Bradford City."

The new-look complex is also set to become a fan zone on City matchdays where Bantams fans and their away counterparts can meet up before kick-off.

Bradford City Community Foundation, the club's charity, has teamed up with BEAP on the project, which they hope to use for its community activities throughout the week.

Humayun added: "For the pre and post match experience it will bring together, not only City supporter, but away fans too. It will show Bradford in a positive light.

"It is such a natural way of doing it, supporters always come in early. They can come into the fan zone area and have some food and drink.

"It is important that we have community engagement and people can see it as their own. Potentially we might have someone who uses the facility and goes on to play for Bradford City, how amazing would that be."

Work on the complex will be completed by May/June 2022.