Plans for Don Valley Olympic legacy project unveiled

Published 15th March 2013 at 2:07pm

Exciting proposals for the most comprehensive Olympic legacy project outside of the capital were unveiled for the Don Valley stadium footprint in Sheffield.

Proposals are backed by key city partners including the LEP, both Sheffield universities, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, the trust behind the University Technical College (UTC) and Sport England.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP said:

”The LEP originally identified that sport, leisure and tourism are areas for growth in the City Region’s economy and this proposal will strengthen and leverage the significant reputation and considerable assets that the City Region already has in professional and community sport allied to learning.”

The plans – which could create up to 940 jobs – have already received a warm welcome and support from Lord Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association and the Government’s Olympic Ambassador.

At the heart of the planned development, details of which were provided by former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, are:

  • Potential new homes for the Sheffield Eagles (Rugby League) and Titans (Rugby Union) teams – as well as new venues for basketball, gymnastics and snooker.
  • A High Performance Centre linking the critical mass of professional and elite sport on the site to the development of Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sports Engineering Research and the developing Medical Advanced Manufacturing Centre at the AMRC.
  • A refurbished Woodbourn Road athletics site featuring a 60-80 metre indoor facility to provide all-weather training facilities
  • The potential development of a second University Technical College for Sheffield
  • The siting of the new National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • The demolition of the Don Valley Stadium to be filled with land fills from Flame Hill creating a continuous site of 25 acres between the Stadium and the English Institute of Sport.

Mr Caborn said: “This is the result of intensive work by a small group of significant organisations in the Sheffield City Region to consider a future for the Don Valley stadium footprint. It is a unique scheme which has already received funding to go to the feasibility stage.

“In effect it becomes an Advanced Sports and WellBeing Park giving a comprehensive delivery of the Olympic legacy that we promised in Singapore in 2005. It has the potential to build even further the sports, leisure and related wellness sector embracing and advancing a range of partners in the Sheffield City region that will have real and measurable impact on sporting performance at many levels.

“This is an economic wealth generation project which would take the Don Valley Stadium site from being under utilised to becoming an economic driver,” added Mr Caborn.

“It also builds on the large critical mass of activity around medical technology. More than 200 companies in the Sheffield City Region feed into this global market worth a projected £300bn.”

Lord Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: “I have seen the proposal and it is actually quite a thoughtful one and relies on the proper delivery of track and field in Sheffield which will form a significant part of the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy. These conversations are never easy and are based on local priorities but clubs, universities, other facilities and organisations are coming together to find a solution that works for Sheffield, works for athletics and works for sport in general.”