04/04/2023 • Partnerships

A slam dunk partnership to level up our community engagement

Basketball team London Lions and estate transformation specialists Mount Anvil join forces to engage young Londoners through social value programme

The partnership will first see a new basketball court, co-designed by ex-Barnsbury resident and local artist Stazzy, located in the transformed Barnsbury Estate in Islington

This comes amidst a landmark study from the Lions which shows that 73% of Brits agree that cities are forgetting about young adults, becoming congested and running out of space for kids to play.

The London Lions Basketball Club have announced a partnership with London residential developer Mount Anvil to create, design and construct a series of free-to-use basketball courts for local communities at a number of Mount Anvil’s estate transformation schemes across the capital. The first project of the partnership is part of the transformation of Barnsbury Estate in Islington, with the court being co-designed by children from the estate alongside local graffiti artist Stazzy. As a whole, the transformation is providing 900 new homes including 426 social rent homes. The redevelopment will introduce over 16,000 square meters of open space, 202 trees and two new parks and pedestrianised mews streets for the community. The court is set to be completed and open to the community later this year and aims to provide a vibrant and free space for people from the community to play sport.

The court at Barnsbury Estate comes alongside a landmark study from the Lions showing the importance of young people in the UK having a free space to play sport. The research shows that people in the UK believe this is becoming an afterthought across the country as an overwhelming 73% agree that cities are forgetting about children, becoming congested and running out of space for kids to play. 
This represents a missed opportunity to better the outcomes for children across the nation, as the study found 46% of the population said having a free space to take part in sports or do physical activity is their most important mental health aid. A further 16% even admitted they would have engaged in anti-social behaviour or crime if they did not have these outlets whilst growing up.

The partnership intends to further demonstrate both Mount Anvil's and the Lions' responsiveness to the needs of the communities they represent by creating places that are valuable for health, well-being and social impact.

This will mark the second court that the London Lions have aided in renovating and gifting to the public after teaming up with artist Alvaro Barrington, in partnership with Serpentine, CONSUL, Tower Hamlets Council and Weavers Adventure Playground in Bethnal Green - part of London’s worst-hit borough in terms of child poverty - to create a unique basketball court for the surrounding community and beyond at the end of last year.

Mount Anvil has been shaping London by creating quality, safe and sustainable places for over 30 years. Proven to deliver some of the city’s best residential developments, Mount Anvil has a proud record of working with the GLA, including a one-of-its-kind £50m investment partnership, London’s leading housing associations & Borough Councils, to create high-quality, private and affordable homes for Londoners. In total, it currently has 4,000 new homes in its construction pipeline, including the transformation of a number of estates such as Barnsbury Estate in Islington, Friary Park in Ealing, and Byng St & Bellamy Close in Tower Hamlets.

Jason Henley, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations at the London Lions, said: 

"The partnership between Mount Anvil and the Lions is giving Barnsbury Estate residents and the surrounding community a chance to play basketball in a safe, inspiring and welcoming space. This development will see a full-size outdoor court that can be accessed by all, addressing a key barrier to basketball participation within London and national issues of inactivity within our communities. As an organisation we are committed to growing basketball across London and working with Mount Anvil and the Barnsbury residents has already raised awareness of the London Lions to communities in North London.”

Marcus Bate, Partnerships, Community & Sustainability Director at Mount Anvil, said:

“Mount Anvil only work with partners who care about London as much as we do. That’s both the local authorities and housing associations that we work with to build vital new housing and the organisations like London Lions who help us deliver meaningful impact in the communities that welcome us. This is a unique partnership, and I’m excited to work with residents to co-design fantastic new spaces across our schemes that will be at the centre of the communities for many years to come.”