Arsenal coaches reopen refurbed Harvist Estate football pitch

Islington Council members and Arsenal coaches look on as the new pitch is reopened.

Islington Council members and Arsenal coaches look on as the pitch is reopened. - Credit: Islington Council

The football pitch on Harvist Estate in Islington has reopened to provide a space for youngsters to stay away from crime dangers. 

Islington Council partnered with Adidas and Arsenal FC for the project as part of the Gunners’ No More Red campaign - which aims to stop violence among young people.

The pitch has been fitted with an artificial surface and offers players a chance to practice in a space just a stones’ throw from the Emirates Stadium. 

Councillor Una O’Halloran said: “The campaign will see the council, Arsenal and Adidas work together in creating and refurbishing safe spaces to play football. 

“The redevelopment of the Harvist Estate pitch is the first step in achieving this, and the council will work with Arsenal to identify more locations for new or refurbished pitches.”

Councillors, including authority leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz, were present alongside Mayor Troy Gallagher and Arsenal coaches for the opening last week. 

Cllr O’Halloran continued: “We’re grateful to ward councillors, Arsenal and Adidas for making the transformation of the pitch possible, and look forward to creating and developing more spaces for young people to enjoy the benefits that sport can bring.”

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She added that Harvist Estate is set to be improved by additional means, such as the construction of a further 24 council homes. 

Arsenal have already backed the campaign by wearing an all white shirt in their FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest. 

The Gunners community outreach work has also seen them install a knife bin near the stadium in Hornsey Road. This amnesty initiative alongside eight other disposal facilities has seen more than 1,000 blades surrendered since October 2020.

Freddie Hudson, head of community at Arsenal, said: “The Harvist pitch is such an important facility for the local community and it’s great to see it refurbished and looking so good.

"We started delivering projects here with Islington Council in 2004 and it’s incredible to think the sessions have been sustained since then.

“This long term approach is a serious commitment to the residents of Harvist Estate and one we are hugely proud of.

"Thanks to Adidas and our No More Red campaign we will be able to extend our youth engagement work at Harvist into the future.”