Ground breaking ceremony marks the start new sports complex
This week, College and the Chellaram Foundation held an official ground breaking ceremony on the site of the new Chellaram Sports Complex at Beggars’ Bush in Bristol.
The new indoor sports complex, which is being delivered by contractor Speller Metcalfe, will replace the existing indoor sports dome with a new sports hall located on the same footprint, alongside a small single storey extension. Whilst the existing ‘bubble’ received permanent planning permission in 2002, the structure itself does not have a very long lifespan, is in need of regular maintenance and considered no longer fit-for-purpose.
The new enhanced sports and changing facilities will be available for use by both the College and local community groups from September 2024.
The proceedings included a Hindu blessing by Dr Nandakumar MBE and the College Chaplain, which was followed by a ceremonial breaking of a coconut on the site of the new building.
Attendees included representatives of the Chellaram Foundation, Clifton College, pupils and representatives from the development project including Architects Alec French and contractor Speller Metcalfe. The ceremony was held during the Prep School’s annual Sports Day demonstrating the already popular use of the sports facilities by the pupils and an opportunity for parents and pupils to see the design of the new facility.
Nick Tolchard, Chair of Council, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Chellaram Foundation for joining us for this ceremony and making such a generous donation to build our new Sports Centre. This is a transformational development of high quality which will benefit not only our pupils, but will welcome groups and schools with a wide variety of backgrounds from across the city.”
The site has undergone extensive improvement in recent years including ground levelling, 3G and 4G pitches and a water-based astro, but this new Sports Centre is the most significant improvement since the Old Cliftonians generously joined forces to purchase the site in time for the College’s jubilee in 1912.
Mark Hudgeon, regional director at Speller Metcalfe, said: “Clifton College is known for its first-class education provision and Speller Metcalfe is delighted to be supporting them with their vision to expand sporting facilities for students. We have a wealth of experience in partnering with both independent colleges and delivering state-of-the-art sports facilities, and look forward to making Chellaram Sports Complex a reality for the college.”