Furzedown Rec pavilion is earmarked for £111k upgrade

Published: 7 June 2018

Residents in the Furzedown area of Tooting are to be asked to give their views on plans that could see more than £100,000 invested in a local green space.

The council has earmarked £111,000 for improvements to the vacant bowling pavilion at the Furzedown Recreation Ground – known locally as the Furzedown Rec.

Refurbishing the empty pavilion would mean it could be used by local people for a range of potential activities including children’s parties, local club and society meetings, homework clubs and other sports, educational and leisure uses.

The recently formed local group the Friends of Furzedown Rec have already canvassed opinion in the area and found that two nearby primary schools, three fitness groups and ten community groups would be interested in hiring out a revamped pavilion.

Now local people are being asked if they support the idea. Letters will be delivered to more than 1,000 nearby homes in the coming days asking for people to express a view on the scheme.

And staff from the council’s leisure contractor, Enable Leisure and Culture, will be attending the Furzedown Festival on Saturday, June 16 to talk to local residents about possible uses for the pavilion and how the green space could be improved.

The cash for the pavilion’s upgrade is being provided via the Wandsworth Local Fund (WLF), which comprises money the council has levied 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 initiatives including schemes to support safer communities, employment opportunities for young people, better pavements and improved playgrounds.

The pavilion proposal is just the first stage of a larger scale project to improve the recreational ground as a whole, which will be drawn up in partnership with the local community.

Parks and open spaces spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “If these plans are given the green light by local people it will give the community another space to use for recreational events, workshops and activities.

“It would bring back into community use a building and green space that has been largely inaccessible to the wider public for much of the last 30 years. These improvements would help create a community hub that is family friendly and open to all. 

“A refurbished and modernised pavilion would be something that could offer real benefits to children, families, local groups, schools, clubs and the wider community.”

Furzedown Rec is a well used neighbourhood green space offering a well equipped children’s playground, tennis courts, picnic tables, ball game areas and a small skate board court. A young orchard offers a quiet shady spot for relaxation and a scattering of mature trees mark the boundaries.