Young people enjoying upgraded Wandsworth Common ball games area

Published: 1 June 2018

Teenagers and young people can show off their football, netball and basketball skills, and let off plenty of steam during the summer months at an upgraded ball games area on Wandsworth Common.

Work is now nearing completion on a £130,000 upgrade to the ball games area near Chivalry Road, funded by the Wandsworth Local Fund (WLF).

As well as a new playing surface, fencing and renewed sports equipment, the floodlighting has also been improved allowing the facility to be used after dusk.

Wandsworth’s cabinet member for community services Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “This revamped sports facility will offer residents in the area, especially young people, a great place to have fun with their friends, keep fit and let off steam after school.

“The new playing surface is a vast improvement on the previous one and the improved floodlights mean it can be used much more widely all year round.”

Although the ball games area is currently open for use, some pieces of equipment still need to be installed, including the basketball nets – but this task should be completed within the next few days. The work is being managed on behalf of the council by its leisure and culture contractor Enable Leisure and Culture. 

The WLF is funded via a charge levied by the council on developers to help pay for community and neighbourhood  infrastructure improvements in the borough.

Over the past three years more than £7.2m in WLF money has been spent on local improvement initiatives including schemes to support safer communities, employment opportunities for young people, better pavements and improved playgrounds.

The schemes chosen for funding are mainly suggested by local residents who are encouraged to bring their ideas to their local ward councillors so they can be properly considered. Funding is only approved for schemes that meet criteria based on the priorities set by local people.

The last borough-wide consultation to set these priorities was held in 2014, and local people chose green spaces, facilities for cyclists, better roads and pavements and community safety. Another consultation is being held now to set the priorities for the coming four years.

Other WLF-funded schemes completed or currently being carried out include Christmas lights in the town centres, new LED street lights, a major road and pavement resurfacing programme, repainting and pigeon-proofing Earlsfield Station railway bridge, refurbishing Putney Vale Cemetery and the Quest project providing intensive support to get young people into work.

Several public realm improvements will be carried out to smarten up shopping streets, including, Putney High Street, Bedford Hill and Bellevue Road.

And several playgrounds have or will be revamped, including Upper Tooting Park, Godley Gardens, Swaby Gardens, Leaders Gardens, King George’s Park and Battersea Park.

A new guide has been published offering local people advice on how they can nominate community schemes for funding. It’s available at all local libraries or can be read online at

To help set borough funding priorities for the next four years, people can take part in the online consultation  before June 30.