Prescot Hockey Club Move to St Helens, Blame Council

By on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prescot Hockey Club logoMembers of Prescot Hockey Club have voted unanimously to leave their home of over fifty years, moving to leisure facilities at Sutton Leisure Centre in St Helens.

The team were formed in 1952 as part of the BICC Social Club. Until recently, their home ground was the old BICC Canteen, on Warrington Road, which later became Prescot Leisure Centre. According to PHC Executive Vice President David Johnson, the club’s facilties were unrivalled with the advent of AstroTurf in the 1980s.

new Prescot Leisure CentreThey were forced to vacate the premises in 2011, however, when Prescot Leisure Centre was closed, awaiting demolition and replacement with smaller pitch-side facilities (pictured, left).

In an official statement from Johnson on behalf of the club, PHC said Knowsley Council’s actions had had “a severe impact on members leaving, retiring or drifting away.”

The club said they were never consulted or informed about the changes or delays, which have left them training at St Edmund Arrowsmith School for over 18 months, due to a lack of changing rooms and car parking at the Warrington Road site.

They also said the construction of a five-aside football cage on one pitch meant they could no longer expand or host tournaments on the site. They were never asked for their views, according to the statement, and the announcement was “the final straw.”

St Helens Borough Council have offered the team a “complete sports development package, including school/club links, satellite training sessions, a coaching and umpiring course, and a lot of additional support to the club.”

Prescot Hockey Club praised St Helens for offering up to three training venues and being “thoroughly professional and helpful” in their support.

The club is doing well, with Prescot Ladies First Team winning two league titles this past season. David Johnson assures Prescot Online that “the name stays 100 percent Prescot – we have a reputation to live up to.”

The move takes place in June 2013.

Knowsley Council have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Update (22/05/13): Knowsley Council have responded. They refused to name the spokesperson but issued this statement:

As part of the initial consultation for the new Prescot Community Leisure Centre all users of the facility were consulted and updated on the plans.

Following consultation with the Hockey Club, we helped to facilitate their relocation to St Edmund Arrowsmith Centre for Learning and, as part of this relocation, offered support and a flexible approach to assist them to train and have their matches at the new site.

During the catch up meetings with the main contact and organiser for the Club, we have understood that the Club is generally happy with the pitch facilities at the Centre for Learning, and proposed to stay there longer-term. Consequently the discussions did not include the Prescot Community Leisure facility as the Club indicated their home was now at the Centre for Learning. We understand from the Club that there are some aspects that could be further improved at SEA, such as storage and improved pitch markings, but that the pitch quality and venue was generally good for them.

There was a delay with the construction of the new facilities at Warrington Road due to alternative funding opportunities being explored. Work is now well underway on the site and the new pitches will be open in July and the leisure facility in October.

If there are other ways that we can support the Club to develop and grow in Knowsley, or if there are further things that can be improved at the Centre for Learning, then we would welcome the discussion with the Club.


  1. Pingback: Prescot Leisure Facility Set for October Opening | Prescot Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *