The Weaponness Leisure Village has taken another step closer to becoming a reality.
At a meeting held in private, Scarborough councillors yesterday approved proposals which will see the construction of a new football ground, leisure facilities and eight-lane Olympic legacy swimming pool on the former Weaponness coach and car park in the town.
Councillors have hailed the plans as a “fantastic opportunity” for the borough to build on the success of London 2012 and encourage people to take up more active and healthier lifestyles.
Specialist sport and leisure developer Wrenbridge Land Ltd will take the project forward including the new football ground which paves the way for senior football to return to the town.
Scarborough Athletic FC has been forced to play its home games in Bridlington, owing to a lack of local facilities, but club bosses say they are “confident” the leisure village offers the best route for a return.
Council deputy chief executive Hilary Jones yesterday said councillors had unanimously voted to move forward with the next steps of the development at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors as the report being considered contained sensitive commercial information.
“This will include progressing the various financial and legal aspects of the development, which include entering into a development agreement with the preferred developer Wrenbridge, “ she said.
The development will have the latest generation artificial floodlit pitch, with spectator facilities. It will also have an outside floodlit multi-use games area for ball sports, with tennis being made a priority.
The work is being funded by a combination of the sale of land at the former McCain stadium in the town, at the Scarborough Sports Centre, as well as spare land at the Weaponness site which is not needed for the development of the village.
Further grant funding is expected to come from Sport England, the Football Foundation and the England Squash and Racketball Association, together with borrowing worth £6.3m which will be offset by the reduced costs of running the new site.
The local authority, which like others across the country is faced with making cutbacks, will also review how it runs all its sports and leisure facilities across the borough to see whether keeping them under council management offers the best value for money.
Since the council chose developer Wrenbridge earlier this year, work on the design of the village and negotiations over the development agreements have been ongoing, leading to yesterday’s meeting although further work will be needed before the scheme can proceed.