KickstART : Field of Play

KickstART : Field of Play

KickstART is a public art project connected to the creation of 106 new homes on the site of Cambridge City Football Club’s grounds in Milton Road by developers Crest Nicolson. It celebrates the history of the club and raises awareness of their move to their new home at Sawston.

In their almost 100-year history, the Cambridge City Football Club grounds in the north of the city have played host to hundreds of games and events for the local community. Now, with the club re-homed, the new housing development on the Mitchams Park site aims to pay homage to the grounds and their contribution to the city's character.

ADeC is supporting local artist Zoe Chamberlain to develop a number of stands to the project.

The first of the project commissions was ‘Making The Move’ when a larger than life footballer ran along the route between Milton Road and Histon Road in Cambridge at the end of September 2014.The footballer was an animation, projected from a specially designed ‘Light Rider’ bike onto buildings along the route - beginning at the Westbrook Centre and ending at Histon Football Club (the then temporary home of the club). Briefly illuminating homes and businesses along the way, the animation included drawings by children from Milton Road primary school, and references to the evolution of City’s former Milton Road site – from ancient gravel pit to football ground to new housing development.

Footage from of  Making the Move was then intertwined with footage of Cambridge City Football Club along with interviews with fans and players to create Service | Movement | Desire - a short film shown at the Arts Picturehouse as part of the Curating Cambridge Festival.

Current ongoing elements of the project include:

Field of Play: Active Landscape

Led by public artist Zoë Chamberlain, in collaboration with Murdoch Wickham Landscape Architects, the next phase of the KickstART project combines year-round public art and a permanent physical art  intervention called 'Field of Play’,  an ‘Active Landscape' which aims to bring local residents and visitors out of their homes and into the community.

Inspired by the grounds' football heritage and the feeling of community the club brought to the area,  Field of Play will be a place to reflect, relax, socialise and even exercise. Speaking in a recent interview, Chamberlain said: “Field of Play : Active Landscape responds to the energy and enthusiasm associated with football; tactics and gamesmanship and concepts of movement. It makes connections with the visual language of football, whilst encouraging and engaging active lifestyle in the public spaces.”

Designed to allow people to sit and relax, or get in a workout through climbing, running jumping and interacting with the piece, Zoë has been working with sports scientist Diane Johnson to ensure the sculptural elements can be used in different ways.  The Active Landscape aims to be more than a simple reminder of the area's past.

In the run up to the unveiling of Field of  Play: Active Landscape, Chamberlain and the KickstART team have been working with local schools, getting local young people involved in the concept and design of  pieces to commemorate the football club's history, and celebrate its move to brand new grounds.

Field of Play: End Of The Game

Extending inside of the homes on Mitchams Park, sound artists Liminal will be presenting families of each new build with a unique, specially engraved handmade brass whistle. As a sign of respect and as a marker of the site's history, the whistles may be blown only during a 90-minute period from 15:00, annually, on the Saturday closest to the date of the final match played on the Milton Road grounds.

Frances Crow from Liminal said, “The sound of the football crowd is a ‘soundmark’ that defined the area every Saturday. Following Cambridge City Football Club’s move to a new ground, this soundmark is now only a memory.

This lost soundmark signified the coming together of a community, whether they watched the game or only heard it from a distance.”

Field of Play

The Kickstart ‘Field of Play’ event took place in May 2016 and was a great success. New residents, artists, the Crest Nicholson team, representatives of Cambridge City FC and members of the local community all came together to enjoy a wonderful selection of music, dance, drama and film. Those who attended also got to sample the delights of local catering from The Carpenters Arms and Thirsty Cambridge and learn about all the different aspects of the Kickstart project.

Activities that took place included: banner printing with Cary & Ricki Outis, sound activities with Frances Crow of Liminal, live music from Cambridge Sing! Choirs, Karen & Co and Simon Wright and an exclusive performance of ‘This is The Place’ by drama students from Chesterton Community College.

The assembled crowd joined in ‘The Man with The Whistle’; a new anthem composed by Jason Rowland in collaboration with members of the community, and blew whistles to accompany the reading of a poem written by award winning author and new resident, Ian Whybrow (see below). Members of the local Knit and Knatter group were also in attendance and one of the group even brought her own 100 year old football whistle which is the same make as the ones that have been installed in each new home on the development. 

We are delighted that there has been so much wonderful feedback from the day. Here are quotes from just some of those who attended:

“We had such a great day on Saturday, I think everyone was bowled over by the success of the event and the positive feedback it generated amongst residents and all who attended! This event was so much more than just the launch of a new development. It was a truly wonderful afternoon which celebrated the power of art in bringing everyone together, helping create a sense of place and foster local pride.”

Zoe Chamberlain, Project Leader for the KickstART programme

“It was great to meet some of the residents at Mitchams Park, and to see how they joined up together to produce what was such a wonderful community event.”

Cllr Robert Dryden, the Mayor of Cambridge

 “We understand the importance of celebrating the heritage of our developments. The event on Saturday was a huge success, and we hope the event will create a lasting legacy, not only for the residents of the new development, but for the wider Cambridge community who have been involved in this project. We will be working with Zoe to create permanent public art on-site which will take the form of an Active Landscape integrated into the development for residents to use as well as admire, keeping the spirit of the site alive - responding to the past whilst creating a high quality street scene that looks to the future.”

Peter Diffley, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson’s Eastern division


Thank you for the lovely party yesterday - it was a wonderful way to kick off this new community.

New resident.



…and now it’s time to celebrate

By Ian Whybrow


And now it’s time to celebrate with three resounding pips.

So come on everybody, raise your whistles to your lips.

(Wait for it…!)

Blow for the old City boots that trod trod trod. 


One for the new supporters and the Sawston squad.


And loudest of all, just to show that we’re alive -

Blow for the Big Kick-off here at Lilywhite Drive.

(Loud Whistle!)

There are other exciting artists commissions being created for the project , follow their development at www.

Find out more about the project here.

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