Ashton Park won’t include basketball court renovation despite petition

Posted on - 2nd April, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Parks, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Sport, Tulketh
A view of the basketball court in Ashton Park Pic: Adrian Fruzynski

The council have confirmed the Ashton Park project will not include any renovations to the basketball court, despite an ongoing petition.

A petition, which is aiming to be signed by 200 people, is ongoing but due to a “tight budget” will not change the city council’s mind and have any funding put towards it.

A spokesperson for Preston City Council said: “Unfortunately, a basketball court will not be included in the Ashton Park project.

“We are working to a very tight budget which means that there is no scope to carry out any additional improvement works.

“We would welcome working with any clubs and governing bodies to see if there are any potential future funding opportunities for this.”

Read more: Controversial Ashton Park plans approved again amid tense public meeting

Adrian Fruzynski, who plays basketball in Preston, started the petition to try to get funding put into the “derelict” Ashton Park basketball court.

He lives close by the park and thinks the current facilities are ” far from acceptable”.

The current basketball court in Ashton Park Pic: Adrian Fruzynski

He told Blog Preston: “Basketball is currently the second most participated sport in the UK and its popularity continues to surge within our city. Despite this growth, our community’s needs are being overlooked with plans for Ashton Park’s new ‘sports hub’ focusing primarily on football.

“The proposed £10 million project neglects most of the current derelict facilities. Playgrounds and the basketball court could be revitalised, to the world standard, with just 2 per cent of that funding.

“The basketball court could serve as an inclusive space for our growing number of local players and fans who are eager for more opportunities to engage with their beloved sport. It could put Preston in the centre of basketball community in the North West. Preston Basketball Club is certainly heading in that direction.”

He went on to explain that community members have “expressed dissatisfaction” towards the football-centric plans, saying: “We believe it’s time for change, it’s time we catered not only for football but also other sports like basketball which have proven their significance over time.”

Read more: Preston City Council leader Matthew Brown on Guild Hall, Preston Model, public scrutiny and more

Those behind the petition on are asking for the council to allocate 2 per cent (£200,000) of the fund towards the basketball court.

In February the proposals for a £9.7million Sports Hub at Ashton Park were green-lit by the city council after a large-scale campaign to stop the facilities – funded through a Levelling Up grant from the government.

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