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July 9th is a special day in the City of Liverpool FC calendar. On this day in 2016 the club took to the field for the first time, in a friendly fixture away at Prestatyn Town that the debutant Purps eventually won by three goals to two.
Four years later to the day COLFC history was again being made as club directors received the keys to the King George V (KGV) Sports Complex in Huyton.
With the club’s official take over of the facility taking place at midnight, COLFC members will have woken up this Friday morning with the club they own possessing the lease to this impressive facility!
Comprising a sports hall, boxing gym, all weather football pitches, grass football pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens, the management of this complex will be a significant undertaking for the club and will mark a transition to COLFC becoming a seven days a week operation.
To be branded as PurpleHUB @ King George V, the complex will provide a training base for our first team as well as a home ground for the club’s community, junior, youth, veterans and legends teams.
In addition, in a major expansion of the club’s COLFC Community activities, KGV will be developed into a genuine community hub for Huyton.
Our plans for the site will be designed to enable new uses for the site and attract new users.
We also look forward with great excitement to working with existing service users at the site, including Huyton ABC (Brin’s Gym), Michael Corless Soccer Schools, Krav Maga, Party Kingdom, Steel Fitcamp, Moo Music, Millennium Dancers and Marie’s House.
This significant milestone in the club’s development comes as the result of almost twelve months of hard work by club directors alongside Livv Housing Group and Knowsley Council.
In particular, COLFC wishes to place on the record our thanks to the team at Livv Housing Group for their help and support in making this project happen for us. Special thanks go to Tony Cahill, Amanda Newton and Fiona Mather.
We also wish to thank the Leader of Knowsely Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, and his executive officers for taking the time to meet with us in the early stages of this project, Justin Thompson for advice and support in negotiating our way through the council’s processes, and St Michael’s ward Councillors Kay Moorhead, Joan Lilly and Mike Kearns for their continued backing.
We look forward to continuing the partnerships that we have begun to establish as we work to secure to secure capital investment to develop new facilities at the site according to community priorities
COLFC, as a Community Benefit Society and social enterprise, is committed to delivering social benefit. KGV will represent a major upshift in our capacity to achieve this.
Our operating model for the site is focused upon maximising community use of the existing facilities and establishing new facilities and services that will benefit Huyton people.
Initially we will raise awareness within the community of the facilities available for leisure, recreation and sport, reaching out to every age group and demographic.
This initial phase will also involve establishing new booking systems and raising awareness through community engagement.
Bookings are now available from the scheduled opening date of 25th July on the new PurpleHUB @ King George V website:
Research undertaken in the development of our proposals for KGV by Dr Alan Southern (University of Liverpool, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice) identified the need for a community hub in the locality and the latent potential of COLFC to deliver this initiative:
“An important point to emerge from this work was the lack of community hubs in Knowsley. The research indicated that there no functioning community hubs in the district.
“To maximise their economic and social impact, community hubs should have a multi-purpose although not be expected to exhaustive in their offer. The ideas behind the COLFC initiative would appear to fit the general model of a community hub.”
“There is already an economic impact to the work undertaken by COLFC. However, it must be stressed how this is latent and contains much more promise. COLFC are one of those potential growth social organisations that were identified in the Heseltine research as a priority for growth support.”
As we enter our fifth year amid prevailing clouds of uncertainty, PurpleHUB @ King George V provides a reason to look forward with excitement and optimism to all associated with City of Liverpool FC.
Our club has never stood still or stopped looking for ways to develop and grow as a truly mutual community owned entity.
Today our club has grown significantly.