PLANS to regenerate Egmont Street Playing Fields and create ‘a legacy’ for Mossley are taking a leap forward thanks to Mossley AFC.
The football club, based at Seel Park, is helping town councillors put together and deliver a vision to transform the vandalised pavilion and site into a community hub.Mossley AFC vice-chairman Callum Irving has been tasked with looking into the feasibility of different options for the site after the club’s board agreed to back the project.
“For the last six months we have been trying to reshape the club and make ourselves more community based,” he told the July meeting of Mossley Town Council. “Part of that is putting firm roots in the town and getting involved.
“I saw the article in The Correspondent about the playing fields and got in touch with Cllr Stephen Homer.
“The grand plan is we would like to put some more decent pitches in the town as well as something for community use.
“The availability of pitches is limited. We have looked at an upgrade for Seel Park but as it’s on the side of a mountain, it’s not easy to get the work vehicles in.
“Sports are very important but there is a real chance to do something special here for the whole town and create a community hub and a legacy for Mossley.
“We are having new discussions around the feasibility of the site and once we can do it safely we will get partners down there and see what we can do.
“Personally, I would love to put an artificial pitch there for all ages to use to play football on even in the winter and that could generate some income.
“We want to look at doing something more community based with the building rather than just using it as changing rooms.
“We are on a journey from A to Z and we’re only at about B-and-a-half right now! But if we can do something for the town that will leave a 30-year legacy I will be really proud.
“The town has been very good to us over the last six months and we wouldn’t be able to do things without that support so we want to give something back.
“What we have in mind has been well received by Tameside Council and it is about making it work. If people want it to happen, it will happen, though it is a big, big project.”
Mossley’s three elected members had a “constructive” meeting with Councillor Oliver Ryan, executive member for finance and economic growth, and Tameside Council officers last month.
Cllr Stephen Homer said: “The response has been great to the idea of creating a community hub.
“I’ve had emails from the public and people have stopped me in the street to say it’s a great idea.
“Some of the ideas include a community cinema and fetes. We’ll be looking at everything as we want to use the field to its full potential, not just for sports.
“I’ve also been approached by businesses with ideas for a café and other things.
“We have got the full backing of Tameside Council too and they will be there to help move this on.”
Paul Dowthwaite, chair of Mossley Town Team, highlighted that a previous ground survey indicated the site is highly contaminated with arsenic from the mills dumping their waste.
Mr Irving agreed to look into the matter as he progresses with feasibility and funding studies.
Mossley town councillor Pat Mullin welcomed the transformation plan, saying: “This is a community initiated project and I think the people of Mossley will appreciate that and get behind it.”
Chris Lyness, from Mossley Town Team and a former town councillor, added: “What we have heard from Callum is fantastic.
“Anything we can do for Mossley and in Mossley I fully support.”