Official opening for state-of-the-art sports facility Hillside Gardens

Media Relations Team, 27 September 2019

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Bill Marshall revealing Hillside Gardens plaque at opening ceremony.

A £4.5 million state-of-the-art sports complex developed by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has been formally opened.

The multi-sports facility at Hillside Gardens, adjacent to the M32 close to Frenchay campus, has provided UWE Bristol Sport and the local community with a new sporting hub with pitches for football, rugby, lacrosse, American football and Ultimate Frisbee.

Yesterday evening (Thursday 26 September) the complex was officially opened at a celebratory launch event attended by Bill Marshall, former UWE Bristol Pro Vice-Chancellor and Commercial Director. Student sports teams and players from Bristol Rovers U18 Academy and Rockleaze Rangers FC, a community football club that has relocated to Hillside Gardens, gave demonstrations and skill exhibitions.

The development includes two floodlit artificial pitches meeting FIFA and World Rugby standards, a grass football pitch, undercover seating for spectators, pitch-side dugouts, changing rooms and a car park. The facility is available for businesses and organisations in the local community to hire.

Alex Isaac, Head of Sport at UWE Bristol, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the finished development – completed on time and on budget - and excited that our sports teams, community partners and supporters are now benefiting from this new high-specification facility. Just a few minutes away from Frenchay campus, we have a new home where we are generating a real buzz around UWE Bristol Sport in a single dedicated venue. We believe this investment will increase opportunities for participation in sport for our students and the wider community for years to come.”

Simon Weaver, UWE Men's Rugby coach, said: “This is a high class facility that will support the development of the rugby club in the future. The location means students on campus can walk from Frenchay, and the surface is world class.”

Daniel Maher, head coach of the UWE Bullets American Football team, said: “It's fantastic to see so many UWE Bristol students playing sport in one place. For American football, there aren't many full size pitches in the UK so we're grateful to have such a great new place to train and play games.”

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