The construction of the Weaponness sports village is set to take a major step forward on Monday.
At Scarborough Borough Council’s Full Council meeting councillors will consider a detailed report, which if accepted, will see the construction of a new football ground, leisure facilities and swimming pool in Scarborough progress.
The proposed plans for the development are publicly available and will be published on the council’s website, but the actual report must remain private and confidential as it contains sensitive commercial information.
In June the council’s Cabinet chose innovative property developer, Wrenbridge Land Limited, a specialist in sport and leisure, as preferred bidder to deliver the project and over the summer, activities to progress the design and negotiate the development agreements have been ongoing.
The agreements will be considered by councillors at the meeting and permission will be sought to enter in to a development agreement with Wrenbridge to construct the leisure village.
As is typical with this type of project, the development agreements are conditional and require Wrenbridge and the council to satisfy a number of conditions before the scheme can proceed.
The proposed leisure village will be made up of two elements on one site:
• A community football ground, which will include a full-size third generation (3G) artificial grass floodlit pitch and associated spectator facilities, and sports and leisure facilities based on the modern equivalent of existing provision at the current Scarborough Sports Centre
• A new swimming and wet facility providing an eight lane Olympic Legacy pool (that will be gifted as part of the Olympic Legacy project through Sport England) and separate learner pool.
In addition to the three main areas of the development, the village will include an external floodlit multi use games area (MUGA) for ball sports with tennis a priority.
As previously reported, it is proposed that the facilities will be funded from a combination of the sale of the council’s land at Seamer Road (the former McCain Stadium), Filey Road (current Scarborough Sports Centre) and spare land at the Weaponness site, which isn’t needed for the development of the leisure village i.e. the former park and ride car park, and potential grant funding from Sport England, the Football Foundation and the England Squash and Racketball Association, together with borrowing of up to £6.3m to develop the swimming pool and wet facilities.
Costs of the borrowing will be offset through the reduced running costs of the new facilities.
Cllr Tom Fox, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “The sports village is the biggest leisure development this council has planned to date and it is a very exciting project. A lot of hard work has already been undertaken by councillors, council officers, sports and football clubs, community groups, funding bodies and Wrenbridge to progress the project to the stage it is today.
“It is now very important that councillors consider and make decisions on the development agreements and other financial and legal aspects.
“With the review of how all our leisure facilities are operated also underway, we have a fantastic opportunity to ensure we can provide a sustainable future for sports and leisure throughout our borough.
“In turn we hope that this will encourage our residents to embrace some of the legacy of London 2012 and lead more active and healthier lifestyles or even take up a new sport.”
Dave Holland, chairman of Scarborough Athletic added: “This year, Scarborough Athletic is competing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, and has made real progress in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy competitions – emotional reminders of the glory days of our illustrious predecessor. With a hugely successful reserve team, junior set-up, and returning a trading profit for the second successive year, morale at our nomadic club is at an all-time high.
“We’re confident that the leisure village offers the best possible route to achieving our aims and we’ve been liaising regularly with Scarborough Borough Council and other partners at key stages throughout the whole process. “We’re hopeful that we can now finalise the practical details that will ensure a sustainable return to Scarborough for our successful community football club…the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter all the time.”