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Tideswell Sports Complex

The TDCA's crowning achievement to date was the building of the sports complex situated next to Bishop Pursglove School.

Our Greatest Challenge (So Far!)

Early in 1993, when all options had been exhausted trying to find a building or site for a village hall a public meeting was called, under the Chairmanship of Eric Simpson, to ask local resident's if there was any other project that the village would like us to undertake.

Eric and architect Brian George had toyed with some plans for a sports complex – these were welcomed by the meeting and our greatest challenge was born.

The complex was to be sited on land surrounding the school and the initial aim was to provide a level football pitch, cricket pitch, bowling green, tennis courts and netball courts. The word level came to haunt the scheme as there was virtually no level land in the area so the earth movers, stone crushers and a lot of bulldozers would be needed.

The first task was to lease the land for the site. Not an easy job as there were three land owners involved in the area that was needed. The second hoop was fund raising. This initially took the form of applications to the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, whose grant would depend on us raising 10% of what was needed, initially the costs were in excess of £300,000 – so local fund raising was under way. In this we were massively supported by many local bodies and groups without whom the 10% would have been impossible to raise

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Under the guidance of three committees, all overseen by Eric, the scheme got under way with the Duchess of Devonshire planting a tree near the school to mark the start of work.

As the scheme progressed the Foundation for Sport and the Arts was taken under the wing of Sport England (Lottery funded) and off we went with the plans for their agreement. They liked what they saw but were far more ambitious than we had been and they up graded the planned facilities to a much higher standard and, of course, a much higher cost. The final bill for the project grew to in excess of £1.4 million but we had started so we had to finish and the local fund raising moved up a few levels. We were greatly helped with fund raising by the support of our patrons – amongst these being the Duchess of Devonshire, Lord and Lady Hilton, Lord Morris of Castle Morris and Seb Coe – together with representatives from each of the sports we were catering for. Local public bodies, councils etc were also very supportive with the match funding we needed.

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Seven years and many stresses and strains later the complex was finally finished in 2000 and was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Sir Peter Hilton with the various new clubs coming into play over the early part of the year.


We now had a good level football pitch and a junior pitch, a (nearly level) cricket pitch, two tennis courts, a bowling green, netball court and two superb pavilions with changing facilities and all mod cons. There were also areas on the complex for use by the children of Bishop Pursglove school.

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Eric Simpson

The Sports Complex had been Eric's dream and without his enthusiasm & guidance it would never have become a reality. We have Eric to thank that Tideswell has a sports facility to be truly proud of.

In memory of Eric Simpson RIP 1996

The Sports Complex Today


If you prefer you can telephone TDCA directly on
01298 872 167 or 01298 872 478