Frenford flies flag as club moves into new Ilford home

A NEW era for an 82-year-old youth club has begun with the opening of an impressive two-storey home for members.

The facility in The Drive, Ilford, took 10 months to build and will be used by Frenford Youth Club.

It boasts a sports hall, dance studio, music room, meeting room, changing room and outdoor playing facilities.

Yesterday (Mon) a flag-raising ceremony formally marked the opening of the building after club bosses moved in over the weekend.

The relocation was given the go-ahead when Redbridge Council, who paid for the new building, announced plans to build an academy school at the site of the club’s then base in Cricklefields, High Road, Ilford.

Chairman of trustees Nicholas Hurst said: “It gives our work with the youth of the borough a much better chance to flourish.

“It’s a great opportunity because of the brand new facilities.

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“Our emphasis has always been the youth and we’re looking forward to working here.”

He added: “Everyone is very surprised by the size of the building and the facilities.

“We’re very proud to be in this position.”

The council spent nearly �6million on the building, which has risen from the ashes of the old Port of London Authority sports ground.

Frenford Youth Club bosses have a 125 year lease on the building.

It plans to move from its former base in Oakfield Playing Fields, Forest Road, Barkingside, to The Drive, within 18 months.

Mr Hurst said: “We will soon be brought together on one site which is a very exciting prospect.

“This move gives young people a much better opportunity to develop their skills.”

The new 2,200sq metre building is more than double the size of the former Cricklefields site.

Tomorrow (Weds), marks the 36th anniversary of the club’s move to that site.