Barking & Dagenham Council this week confirmed it had taken ownership of the May & Baker Sports & Social Club and its 54 acres of sports fields.
The move follows the closure of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi’s manufacturing plant in Rainham Road, Dagenham, and is part of the 108-acre site’s regeneration into a science, technology, business, manufacturing and retail park branded “Business-East”.
While the ownership of the sports facilities transfers to the council as part of a Section 106 planning-gain agreement linked to the regeneration of the area, the authority recently granted a 25-year lease to the newly-formed charitable trust May & Baker Eastbrook Community Club, which will operate the facilities.
Council leader Liam Smith said the authority had worked closely with its partners and the local community to preserve the site’s football, rugby and cricket pitches - along with its other sports facilities.
“On behalf of the people of Barking and Dagenham, I would like to thank Sanofi for the legacy of this sporting facility on 54 acres of land out of 108 acres and the £100,000 investment in the excellent facilities,” he said.
“We look forward to the work of the community trust – made up of local people - to protect this legacy.”
Sanofi’s local land development leader Mark Bass said the firm’s Business-East regeneration programme and the preservation of the site’s sporting facilities were central to its commitment to leave behind a positive legacy in Dagenham.
“Handing over our sports grounds and the M&B Club to the council, and the setting up a charitable trust to run them, was a key part of our plans,” he said.
“I’m delighted this aspect of the Business-East programme is now completed and that local residents will benefit from these superb facilities for many years to come.”
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