Shakespeare Park Improvements

Shakespeare Park - Improvement & Development

Pavilion from Bowling Green

Our ambitious proposals to make improvements to the sporting, recreation and play facilities at Shakespeare Park, off Avon Road, Braunstone Town, are now being implemented.

Early in 2020 phase 1 of the works to deliver our ambitious plans to improve the facilities at Shakespeare Park commenced.  The new multi-purpose Pavilion is due to open autumn 2021 and supports lawn bowls, pétanque, football and tennis and provides for both sustaining and encouraging growth in sport participation.   Phase 2 of the works to improve the tennis courts is due to commence in January 2022 and improvements to the play facilities is due to commence in Spring 2022.  See Project Timescales at the bottom of the page.

The scheme includes:

  1. Demolition of the existing Bowls Clubhouse and Football Changing Rooms; which has been completed; 
  2. Building of a new multi-sports Clubhouse between the Bowling Green, Tennis Courts and Recreation Ground; which subject to some minor snagging works is now complete;
  3. Extension and improvements to the existing Car Park; outstanding is the top surface, line markings and signage, which will be installed after the tennis courts improvements;
  4. Improvements to the play equipment and safety surfaces, including installation of sensory play equipment, due Spring 2022
  5. Improvements to the Tennis Courts, due January 2022.

Background to the Project

Sports Pavilion

ClubhousePicture of demolition of old pavilion

The old Sports Pavilion, which contained the Bowling Clubhouse and Football Changing Rooms, was in disrepair and no longer fit for use, the Clubhouse was predominantly constructed using wood.   There was no heating and windows don’t open.   There was no disabled access to the Bowling Clubhouse. To make changes to the existing Pavilion would have been an inefficient use of resources since the main structure was nearing the end of its life.

The Existing Pavilion was an inefficient use of space.   The Club Room and Kitchen were too small for the number of pitches on the Bowling Green and there were separate changing and toilet facilities for the Bowling Club and Football Club, the Bowling season being April to October and Football Season August to April.   Since bowling and football don’t take place every day, in the couple of months both clubs overlap there was the ability to schedule use of the new facility to avoid clashes.

Tennis Courts / PlaygroundPlayground

Both the Playground and Tennis Courts are well used by the local community, however, there has been no significant investment in the facilities on this site for over 10 years.   Modern technologies produces long lasting, vandal poof, yet attractive play equipment and safety surfaces.   Installing new safety surfaces at the Playground and Tennis Courts will not only improve safety, it will also reduce maintenance costs while improving the visual appearance.   In addition, Braunstone Town only has traditional play equipment at its parks, there are a variety of sensory play equipment available which allows for play for all ages and abilities and in particular those physically unable to use traditional play equipment such as swings and slides, installing such equipment at an existing playground allows for the family and friends to enjoy play and recreation together.

Summary of the Scheme

The scheme involves building a brand new single storey Pavilion to cater for the sports which use the Park (i.e. Bowling, Football and Tennis).   The location of the new building is between the Bowling Green, Tennis Courts and Recreation Field (to the rear of Shakespeare Drive).   The building will make more efficient use of the floor space by providing a single clubroom, kitchen, changing room and storage facilities for all sporting teams using the park.

WP 000193Once the new Pavilion is operational, the existing Pavilion, adjacent to the Tennis Courts and car park (to the rear of Avon Road) will be demolished and the Car Park extended.   The surface will be replaced and parking spaces lined out.  Provision will also be made for cycle rails to which cycles can be secured.   

During the construction of the New Pavilion, demolition of the existing Pavilion and extension of the Car Park, a secure compound for the construction equipment and materials will be operational behind the playground and tennis courts.  Once completed, this area will be opened for use as a pentanque pitch.

Later this year it is proposed to install new safety surfaces and new play equipment, including the provision of Sensory Play Equipment, at the Playground, which will be closed for the duration of the installation of the equipment (anticipated to be no more than 2 months).

The perimeter fence, safety surface and nets on the Tennis Courts will be renewed.

The current timescales are for work to be completed by spring 2021.   Construction and delivery vehicles will be directed to and from Braunstone Lane via Shakespeare Drive, this is a small scale construction project and large amounts of vehicular movement is not anticipated.   Works on the site will take place during the working week and during the day.


In 2012 and 2013, the Town’s Citizens’ Advisory Panel carried out a review of the Council’s Open Spaces and Parks to identify priorities for improvements for Capital Projects should external funding arise. Details of the proposals were published in the Braunstone Life, along with details on how to respond to the consultation. Questions were included in the Town Council’s Annual Survey, undertaken between June and August each year between 2015 and 2017, which was circulated to 300 random households in 2015 and was available on-line, from Community Centres and advertised in the Braunstone Life. Consultation information events were also held at Braunstone Civic Centre.

A Working Group of Town Councillors and representatives from the sports clubs was established to develop detailed proposals and regular updates were submitted to Policy & Resources Committee and Citizens’ Advisory Panel.

Following detailed proposals being agreed by Policy & Resources Committee on 26th August 2016, a month long consultation was held on the proposals in September 2016 at Braunstone Civic Centre and on the consultation page for the project on the Town Council’s website.   A comments form was available to assist with responses and a drop-in information session was held between 5pm and 8pm on Tuesday 20th September 2016.

A further public consultation on the project, its justification and its funding, including financing borrowing through the precept, was held between November 2018 and 1st April 2019.  30 (81%) agreed it represented good value and 5 (14%) said it did not represent good value. 2 (5%) did not respond either way. The survey was available online, in hard copy and at meetings. The survey was notified online, on social media, posters on notice boards at Community Centres, Parks and around the town and in the Braunstone Life.

Following Policy & Resources Committee’s decisions and recommendation to Council to make a borrowing application of 22nd August 2019, Citizens’ Advisory Panel on 5th September 2019 received an update on progress with improvement to the pavilion, sport, recreation and play facilities at Shakespeare Park.

The parking proposals were explored and were a positive improvement, especially given parking was no longer available at the former Shakespeare Pub site.

The Panel agreed:

  1. it was important for Braunstone Town Council to invest in community sporting and recreation facilities for future generations;
  2. the Shakespeare Park proposals be supported since it provided a sustainable site for sport and recreations facilities to support healthy living, wellbeing and community cohesion; and
  3. in addition to external grants, Braunstone Town Council invest in the facility through borrowing, as detailed in the report, to ensure that the proposed redevelopment could go ahead.

(Citizens’ Advisory Panel Minute 8, 5th September 2019).

In the autumn/winter of 2019/2020 we will be launching a consultation on the improvements to the playground and tennis courts. 


An application for Section 106 funding for the Pavilion and Site Works was submitted on 16th November 2018.  Section 106 funding of £17,213.35 (the total amount available) was approved on 13th December 2018 and is ring fenced for site works, such as Parking Bays, Paving, Kerbs & Edgings, Fencing & Gates, Landscaping and Street Furniture, which must serve the users of Shakespeare Park and be accessible to the general public at all times with no restrictions on access.

In March 2019, notification was received that Sport England’s Community Asset Fund Review Panel had considered the Town Council’s application for grant funding and had awarded the project £100,000.


A meeting of the full Council on 26th September 2019 approved a borrowing application of up to £936,936 to ensure the funds were available, this would be the equivalent of 14p per week for a band D property and 11p per week for a typical band B property.   However, in practice, since most of the funding is already available in the Town Council’s budget, the additional funding needed is actually the equivalent of 5p per week on band D and 4p per week on band B.

The Town Council’s borrowing application and supporting evidence was received by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 16th October 2019.  Approval was given by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, following an Approval Meeting on 17th January 2020, to borrow up to £936,936 at a fixed interest rate over the borrowing term of no more than 40 years, towards the cost of the Pavilion and Site Improvement Works (including demolition of the existing clubhouse) at Shakespeare Park.

New Pavilion and Site Improvements

Site preparation works began in February 2020 and works on preparing the site for the foundation works for the new pavilion began in April 2020. 

On 19th July 2021, the new Pavilion was handed over to the Council.  Insurances are now place and a fire safety inspection report is being implemented.

Some minor outstanding items are now being completed by the contractor prior to the building becoming fully operational, which is estimated to be October 2021.

Playground & Tennis Courts Improvements

Following an invitation to suitably experienced Contractors to tender for the provision of new and refurbishment of existing play equipment and also for the refurbishment of the tennis courts at Shakespeare Park, a consultation was undertaken on the specific proposals in November and December 2020.   

Following the consultation and a detailed examination of the shorlisted suppliers, Policy & Resources Committee on 14th Janauray 2021 awarded contracts to carry out the playground and tennis courts improvements.

The planning conditions for the tennis courts layout and fencing was discharged on 6th July 2021. Funding is now in place for the Tennis Courts improvements.  However, due to a delay in sourcing materials following the Covid-19 pandemic, the works to refurbish the courts have been delayed.  It is now anticipated that the works will commence in January 2022 and will take around 8 weeks to complete.

Following public consultation and consideration by Policy & Resources Committee Committee in January 2021, an alternative to the Bannister Slide, a replacement climbing wall, has been agreed. In addition an Astroturf fitness trail has been agreed for the playground. 

Some funding has been secured and further funding sources are currently being sought. 

The planning condition will shortly be discharged, which could take 8 weeks, and this process will run concurrently with finalising funding sources.  With lead in times, the earliest the works could commence would be in February 2022; however, anticipating delays with supplies, it is more likely to be April 2022.

Further details of the work requested are available in the tender packs below:

Project Timescales

The next stages of the Project are set out in the table below:

November 2021

  • Funding applications for Playground Work
  • Snagging on New Pavilion completed

January 2022

  • Commencement of works on Tennis Courts
  • Policy & Resources Committee determines funding arrangements for the Playground works

March 2022

  • Completion of works on Tennis Courts
  • Completion of surfacing works on the Car Park

Between February & April 2022

  • Commencement of works on Playground

Between March & May 2022

  • Completion of works on Playground




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