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Major refurbishment underway at Bury Knowle Pavilion will enhance Oxford’s Community facilities.

A significant construction project has commenced at the Bury Knowle Pavilion, marking a new era of leisure and community engagement in Oxford.  The £300k refurbishment, will be undertaken by ODS in collaboration with Courtside, a local social enterprise, and aims to breathe new life into the old tennis pavilion, transforming it into a vibrant community hub. 

The project is part of a broader £600k investment in the site and the initiative stems from a 15-year agreement that Courtside has with Oxford City Council who own the site.  

Courtside’s innovative operating model focuses on increasing physical and social activity by revitalising under-utilised public buildings in local parks. At Bury Knowle, the plan is to introduce an attractive café space adjacent to tennis courts, coupled with enhanced leisure activities such as a multi-use games area, mini-golf and shuffleboard. This model aims to create inviting public spaces that cater to the community's diverse needs.   

The Bury Knowle Pavilion is set to undergo a complete overhaul.  The old timber-framed structure will be gutted, extended, and modernised to accommodate a café serving as a central gathering spot for visitors.  Despite the building’s dilapidated state and strict planning restrictions that prevented its demolition, the refurbishment aims to preserve its historical essence while introducing modern amenities.   

The environmental sensitivity of the site, particularly due to the proximity of several mature trees, has significantly influenced the planning and execution of the refurbishment works.   

Mitchell Carter, Associate Director of Construction at ODS said: “We are committed to ensuring that the project adheres to the highest environmental standards, safeguarding the natural beauty and the ecological balance of Bury Knowle.” 

Jeff Hunter, CEO of Courtside said: “Courtside is excited about this transformative project and its potential to enhance the recreational and social landscape of Headington. We look forward to unveiling the pavilion later in the year and to seeing the community witness the progress of this significant investment in their local park.”