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- 08 October 2014 00:00
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Former British Sports Minister Richard Caborn has unveiled plans for the construction of a £50 million Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield.
The new facility will feature a new Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), a stadium and an indoor community arena, all built on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium in the East of the city.
It will also house a new combined primary and secondary school - scheduled to be open by September next year - that will cater for 1,200 pupils aged between two to 16 years old, and a second University Technical College for the city.
The AWRC will form the centrepiece of the Park, allowing for the design, research, evaluation and implementation of products linking the medical, physical activity, leisure and sports sectors.
"Through the AWRC, we will bring academia, the medical profession and the full spread of physical activity across the city, from sedentary lifestyles to elite and professional athletes," said Caborn, who is the project leader of the Olympic Legacy Park.
"In the words of Lord Coe, Sheffield will undertake world-class research and provide services that will deliver long-term, systematic change to benefit the health of the nation.
"We will deliver knowledge, intellectual property and practical development of products and services to the wealth creating sectors of health, wellbeing and sports sectors with the Sheffield City region."
The Sheffield Eagles Rugby League club is set to be the main tenant of the community stadium, which will feature a synthetic pitch with a 2,500-seater main stand, and a 50-bed hotel with catering and hospitality areas, as well as facilities developed in partnership with Sheffield University Technical College.
"The new stadium will be like no other in this country, in that it will be designed and managed to have multiple uses that reflect the needs of the broader community, as well as being a top class facility for performance rugby of both codes," said Sheffield Eagles director of community, development and education, Ian Anniss.
The 3,000 capacity multi-purpose indoor arena will be the future home of the Sheffield Sharks basketball outfit and will contain three full-size courts, while sports and events firm MLS is also set to move into the new facility.
The Olympic Legacy Park will be built on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium, which was the training base for Sheffield's London 2012 Olympic heptathlete gold medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The Stadium, with a seated capacity of 25,000, was biggest athletics arena in Britain until the Olympic Stadium in London was built, but was closed down by Sheffield City Council in September last year as part of cost-saving measures.
The £50 million Olympic Legacy Park is also being supported by Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
About £40 million of funding has already been secured, including £17 million for the new school, while £10 million will come from the private sector.