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On your marks, get set, go! Turf-cutting ceremony marks new era for sport at St Mary’s

On your marks, get set, go! Turf-cutting ceremony marks new era for sport at St Mary’s

Thursday 7 November marked the beginning of a new era for sport at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, with a special turf-cutting ceremony to launch its ambitious new Long Road development.

Representatives of St Mary’s School gathered with project partners from Homerton College, part of the University of Cambridge, to cut the first sod of soil, commencing work that will transform the existing facilities at Long Road.

The ambitious development project will provide two new AstroTurf pitches, three netball and tennis courts, athletics track and field facilities, plus a new pavilion with kitchen and changing rooms. Alongside exceptional new rowing facilities at St Mary’s, Long Road will greatly enhance opportunities for girls to discover, experience and excel in a wide range of sporting activities, delivering St Mary’s commitment to encouraging Sport for All, and enabling Homerton to boast among the best sports facilities in the University.

As well as benefitting St Mary’s girls and students of Homerton College, the new Long Road facilities will also be accessed by members of the wider community, as part of Cambridgeshire County Council's Health and Well-being strategy.

Scheme design

Scheme map

Working with Ingleton Wood Martindales Ltd., the Long Road scheme has been designed to minimise its environmental impact and the site’s overall carbon footprint. Measures include:

  • Installation of solar panels
  • Energy efficient lighting and floodlights
  • Protection of key wildlife corridors – particularly important for bats
  • Planting additional trees in the space
  • Dedicated conservation areas for enhanced outdoor learning
  • Anti-flood provision in the drainage scheme

With work now underway at Long Road, it is anticipated that students will be able to enjoy the enhanced facilities from September 2020.

Professor Geoffrey Ward, Principal of Homerton College, University of Cambridge reflected: “The student experience at Cambridge includes the opportunity to compete in extra-curricular activity at very high levels, and this has to include sport. Our agreement with St Mary’s over shared sports facilities means that Homerton will soon have the best such facilities in collegiate Cambridge. These things are not just for the champions, but for the students unwinding at the weekend who want to kick a ball about, or go for a run.”

Charlotte Avery, Head of St Mary’s School said: “Cutting the turf was a great opportunity to celebrate the culmination of working in partnership with Homerton College to reach this critical point. Long Road will greatly enhance sporting opportunities for St Mary’s girls and I look forward to returning to the ‘turf’ to see our aspiring sportswomen in action.”

Sport at St Mary’s

More about the Long Road Development