Our story

From a disused site…

In 2017, the Community Sports Foundation acquire the land of the former Anglian Windows Sports and Social Club, on Holt Road, which has been closed since 2014. That summer, ‘The Nest’ is announced as the name of the hub, and work begins on the first phase of the project begins following planning permission from Broadland District Council.

Build The Nest is born

At the International Aviation Academy in Norwich in February 2018, Jake Humphrey helps to launch the Build The Nest campaign.  Over £2.5m is needed from donations, community events and other initiatives with local businesses, to help support the money raised from funders such as the Football Foundation, Greater Norwich Growth Board, Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia LEP.

Football legends rise to the cause

Stars from Norwich City and Inter Milan’s past put on a show for a bumper crowd of just under 18,000 at a sun-soaked Carrow Road, helping to raise funds for the campaign.

Representing the Canaries, are the likes of Bryan Gunn, Darren Eadie, Darren Huckerby, Efan Ekoku, Iwan Roberts and Youssef Safri, while among the players on show for the Italians are Jurgen Klinsmann, Javier Zanetti and Marco Materazzi.

Legendary City manager Mike Walker said: “It was a tremendous crowd, I couldn’t believe it. The atmosphere was great for a charity game.” The main thing was for the charitable good it did and I’ve seen it [The Nest], it’s going to be a fantastic place….I’m grateful to the people who turned up today to contribute towards it.”

The first phase opens

Foundation trustee and TV presenter Jake Humphrey, and Norwich City first team player Louis Thompson are among the guests that visit The Nest in September 2018, to mark the official opening of phase one.

The launch celebrates the completion on work on the seven grass football pitches, as well as the renovation of the existing clubhouse, and the installation of residential bunk boxes.

The final push – with help from the Canaries and our partners

In 2019, Norwich City Football Club and the Foundation launch a four-month campaign to raise the final £1 million for The Nest – with the Football Club match funding up to £500,000.

Among the hundreds who join the fundraising cause are the Credo Asset Finance CanaryBall Rally-ers, who drive an epic 2,200 mile trip to Milan (and back) raising over £70,000 for the campaign, and Norwich City FC Club legends Russell Martin and Wes Hoolahan who donate money from their testimonial match to the cause.

Phase Two completed

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the fundraising campaign reaches its target and construction is completed on the new 3G pitch and the new Hub building. A challenge woods activity area and outdoor classroom is also built, thanks to support from the Norfolk County Council Infrastructure Fund. Partners and sponsors of our community hub The Nest, under pressure themselves, continued to support so that the project could reach completion and the community could benefit from the facilities.