Rio Ferdinand, former England captain, is collaborating with Central Bedfordshire Council to revive a heavily neglected area in Houghton Regis.
Ferdinand runs Legacy, a renowned regeneration company, with Brighton’s Bobby Zamora and Mark Noble, West Ham captain. It is being supported by McLaren Construction and backed by Aviva Investors, the central government and funding partner.
Kingsland, a region in Houghton Regis, will be regenerated with new, state-of-the-art housing as well as community and education facilities and a new, world-class sports academy.
The same model will then be launched across the country to regenerate run-down locations, using sports to help keep young people engaged and encourage them to improve their lives and career prospects by linking new homes with sports, education, and leisure outlets.
Ferdinand, who is Legacy chairman, said that the project aims to help British youth achieve their full potential. He added that he and his team-mates have seen firsthand the positive effect that football can have on their lives.
Ferdinand confirmed that football had changed his life for the better and he intends to use his position to create a legacy for young people everywhere.
Legacy is responding to the needs of local communities, he said. By extending its efforts across the UK, they are building both a brand and a beneficial relationship with the people who will occupy the homes they construct.