Community cohesion is goal for football club’s hub vision

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football club bosses yesterday unveiled plans for a new community hub which they said will promote “social inclusion, education, job creation, sport and wellbeing” in Sheffield.

The Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme is the club’s charitable arm and recently purchased a site which was formerly occupied by engineering firm Presto Tools on the city’s Penistone Road.

Plans have been submitted to Sheffield Council’s planning department for the 5.2 acre site, which include a building which the club said would be the “biggest and best of its kind in the country”.

Chief Supt Simon Torr, of South Yorkshire Police, the chairman of the community programme’s board and police commander for Sheffield, said the project would have major benefits for the city.

He added: “This facility will be a superb asset to Sheffield. It will help young people develop both socially and emotionally, aid vital communication skills and improve self esteem, which in turn increases resilience, thus avoiding risks such as experimentation with drugs or involvement in crime.

“The primary aim centres on involvement in positive activities, leading to a reduction in anti-social behaviour and gang-related actions. In addition, the facility will provide alternative educational programmes designed to re-engage young people back into mainstream learning whilst maximising vocational opportunities.”

Work on the building should start in the summer, subject to planning consent, with completion expected in the spring of next year.