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Drapers Field open for play!

The £2million refurbishment of Drapers Field is complete, providing the residents of Waltham Forest with a brand new first class park and sports facility.

On 25 June new Mayor of Waltham Forest Councillor Terry Wheeler, Chief Executive Martin Esom, Council Leader Chris Robbins, and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment Councillor Clyde Loakes went down to see what all the fuss is about.

“It’s a wonderful place and packed with local people young and old enjoying everything from the water fountains to the table tennis, not to mention the football,” said Chris Robbins.

“Anyone who wants to see something tangible and lasting that the Olympic and Paralympic Games has brought to this borough as a legacy should get themselves down here. It’s fantastic.”

Drapers Field was temporarily leased to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in September 2011. After the Games, the temporary facilities were dismantled and the site cleared and handed back to the Council.

Prior to its use by the ODA, Drapers Field had an all-weather pitch and large playing field, whereas it now has radically improved facilities that the people of Leyton and beyond are currently benefitting from.

A new 3G all-weather sport pitch, junior natural turf football pitch, new play facilities, cycling proficiency course, new landscaping and refurbishment to the southern sports pavilion have all been introduced. The landscape of the site has also been transformed, improving accessibility to the site greatly, with a new pathway connecting to the new bridge into the Olympic Park at Temple Mills Lane. 

It was very important to the Council that the design of Drapers Field would not only encourage increased walking and cycling in the local area, but also improve connections with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East Village, Stratford City and Chobham Academy.

The funding for all these improvements has come via the Leyton Open Spaces Investment Programme. This has used money provided by the ODA through contributions known as Section 106 monies. They’re provided to recompense the borough for the temporary loss of Drapers Field.

The reinstatement scheme at Drapers Field represents a substantial improvement on the old layout providing more of what was there beforehand, and of better quality. The final layout and scope of facilities were agreed upon after consultation with local people and users of the park.

In March and June 2011 residents were given a chance to have their say and to influence the look and feel of Drapers Field. The designs that arose from these events reflected the feedback received and struck a balance of formal and informal sport, as well as play, recreation and community facilities.

Some of the elements of the scheme also relate to the Council’s broader Open Spaces Strategy. This identified that in this part of Leyton there is a deficiency of play and local open space. The reinstatement of the all-weather pitch is also a response to many of the comments picked up in the consultations and by Sport England, who noted that there are simply not enough of these sorts of facilities in this part of the borough.

As well as the improvements to Drapers Field these contributions that have arisen as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games have also led to Legacy improvements to Leyton Jubilee Park, the tennis courts and pavilion at Abbotts Park, and the provision of a Multi-Use Games Area at Church Lane, Leytonstone.


  1. Children enjoying some of the new facilities at Drapers Field in Leyton.

  2. Council Leader Chris Robbins, Mayor of Waltham Forest Councillor Terry Wheeler, Chief Executive Martin Esom, and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment Councillor Clyde Loakes (from left to right) at Drapers Field.

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