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Hackney Marshes

London Marathon helps transform Hackney Marshes

07 April 2010

The London Marathon has awarded half a million pounds to Hackney Council to help transform the home of grassroots football and to improve sports facilities and include a multi-sports community hub of regional, national and international significance.

The grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust will contribute towards the east London borough’s multi-million pound scheme to redevelop facilities at the famous Hackney Marshes, the largest concentration of full-sized 11-a-side football pitches in Europe.

The five-year project includes plans for modern new changing rooms new and improved football pitches; cricket pitches; rugby pitches; mini and youth soccer pitches; a café and classrooms; improved routes for walking, jogging and cycling; plus environmental enhancements around the nearby River Lea and Lea Navigation canal.

The east end site is directly adjacent to the London Olympic Park in one of the most deprived areas of the country, and this development will help secure a sporting legacy from the 2012 Games for the local population and surrounding communities.

Hackney Marshes has been a home for grassroots football since the 19th century, and many famous players began their careers there, including former England captains Bobby Moore and David Beckham. The redevelopment will transform the site into an internationally recognised centre for football development, as well as a community hub for club cricket and rugby, and an accessible open space where local people can engage in physical activity.

John Disley, chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: "We are delighted to be able to contribute to the London Borough of Hackney’s exciting scheme for Hackney Marshes. The Trust has been awarding grants to protect playing fields and improve sporting and leisure facilities all over London since it was founded in 1981.

"This project will not only help develop one of the country’s most famous leisure facilities, preserving it for future generations, but also provide communities in east London with a real sporting legacy from the 2012 London Olympic Games."

Kim Wright, corporate director for community services at Hackney Council, said: "The Council is pleased this funding will help us with our multi-million pound plans to improve facilities at Hackney Marshes. This is a key part of our investment programme which is using the London 2012 Games as an opportunity to give our residents world-class sports facilities alongside the new venues being built at the Olympic Park."

The London Marathon Trust’s grant will go towards the cost of a sports pavilion and changing rooms at the North Marsh while other funding for the overall project has been secured from partners including the London Development Agency, Olympic Delivery Authority, Football Foundation, Sport England, the Rugby Football Union, the England and Wales Cricket Board, NHS City and Hackney.

For more information contact:

Nicola Okey on 07799 661345;

Natasha Grainger

Hackney Marshes   Hackney Marshes
Hackney Marshes   Richard Lewis, Glenn Roeder and Kim Wright
Hackney Marshes   Hackney Marshes
Matthew Brown, Glenn Roeder, Kim Wright and Richard Lewis   Hackney Marshes, with some locals playing football
Hackney Marshes   Hackney Marshes
Glenn Roeder and Richard Lewis   Richard Lewis



The London Marathon Charitable Trust
The London Marathon Charitable Trust was created in 1981, the inaugural year of the London Marathon, to meet one of the six objectives detailed by the race founders: 'To raise money for the provision of recreational facilities to London.'

London Marathon Ltd is the operating subsidiary of The London Marathon Charitable Trust. Every year the surplus from the company is gift-aided to the Trust, and the trustee’s award grants to sport and recreation facilities and projects.

A registered charity (number 283813), its objectives are to provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupations for the people of London.

The 2010 Virgin London Marathon
The 30th London Marathon is the first race to be sponsored by Virgin. The first Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday 25th April. The elite races start at 9.00am for women and 9.45am for men, with the London Marathon wheelchair races beginning at 9.20am and the mass race at 9.45am.

For more details go to

Hackney Marshes
Hackney Marshes are managed by Hackney Council. The Marshes represent the highest concentration of football pitches in Europe with 73 full-size pitches that see more than 100 games played on them every weekend.

Hackney – a host borough for the 2012 Games
Hackney is one of the five host boroughs for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2012, Hackney will host the media centres, the Handball Arena (Arena 3) and the Hockey Arena. The media centres will remain after 2012 and will provide employment space. The Handball Arena will be transformed into a multi-sport community facility. The Hockey Arena is temporary and will be taken down after the 2012 Games.