Unveiled: a new vision for sport

Weaponness developmen plans
Weaponness developmen plans

THE vision for Scarborough’s sporting future has been unveiled.

Scarborough Council bosses have revealed plans for a new 2,000 capacity football stadium on the former Weaponness Valley coach park.

The Weaponess car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  112067h

The Weaponess car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount. Picture by Andrew Higgins 112067h

The ground would be the base for a multi-million pound cutting edge sports complex in the town complete with a 25-metre swimming pool and multi-sport facilities.

The moves could finally pave the way for the demolition of the former Athletic Ground, in Seamer Road, with 150 new homes expected to be built on the site.

And council chiefs have also banished doubts about the future of the Filey Road Sports Centre, confirming it will remain open until the completion of the sports village.

Brian Bennett, the council’s head of tourism and culture, said: “The project will seek to deliver a host of facilities including a 2,000 capacity football ground, an outdoor multi–use games area for tennis and football, and a sports centre comprising an indoor hall, fitness suite, activity studio and squash courts.

“To secure the continuity of existing sports and leisure provision for the residents of the town, the redevelopment of the Filey Road Sports Centre and Seamer Road Football Stadium will not take place until such a time that the development of the Weaponness site has been completed.

“An opportunity also exists to provide an eight-lane swimming pool at this site as a replacement for the current facility at Ryndle Crescent.”

The plans are due to be thrashed out by the council’s planning officials today, with three proposed briefs for the relevant sites being put forward for consideration to mould any future development.

A report into the proposed work, which could begin next year, shows the base capacity for the new stadium – built to Football Association Grade C standard – set at 1,950 people with provision to extend to 3,000 in future seasons.

The ground would feature a covered area for 500 fans and seating for 250 supporters with floodlighting and a high-tech third generation playing surface.

A sports hall, gymnastics and weight suite, squash courts and community room also form a key part of the plans.

Hilary Jones, the council’s strategic director, added: “The project is an opportunity to deliver state-of-the-art sports facilities for Scarborough and re-establish a base for football in the town.

“We are clear that by developing the football ground and sports village on a single site we can ensure the future sustainability of all facilities and it is our firm view that the Weaponness site is the best location for this.”

Following today’s meeting the council’s cabinet will be asked for a decision to publish the briefs for public consultation in July. It would then be looking to adopt finalised versions of the briefs in the autumn.

Football was first played at the town’s Athletic ground in 1898 but has remained derelict since June 2007, when the old Scarborough FC went out of business.

During the past four years vandals have blighted the stadium, with arsonists and trespassers regularly breaking into the ground, while last year confidential player records were discovered in the empty ground’s offices.

The council bought the ground for £1.335 million in 2008 but safety concerns ended any hope of football returning to the site.