Weaponness: Are we getting there?

The site of the proposed sports village at Weaponness Valley Road car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  112067h
The site of the proposed sports village at Weaponness Valley Road car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount. Picture by Andrew Higgins 112067h

Scarborough’s sporting community are demanding answers over the proposed Weaponness Sports Village project.

Construction on the proposed community stadium and leisure facilities was supposed to start in August last year, but work is yet to begin after the tenders received by Scarborough Borough Council came in too expensive.

The council held a meeting behind closed doors last Thursday where it was understood they are to invite final tenders again.

Chris Bourne, project manager at SBC, admitted that the six tenders received last summer came in over-priced, but was quick to point out that their plans are now back on track.

He said: “We spent last summer working with Sport England to try and whittle the costs down as the tenders we got back were too expensive.

“We’ve got to a position now where we’re confident we can invite final tenders.

“We took that to cabinet and that has been approved.

“We expect to receive final tenders by the summer.”

But the delay in construction getting under way and a lack of information coming through has still left Scarborough’s sporting community wanting answers.

Scarborough Swimming Club coach and director of British Swimming Sam Greetham believes that the council need to be more forthcoming with their decision making.

Greetham said: “The town needs a football stadium - that is the number one priority.

“We lost a lot when the Athletic Ground was levelled and we’ve still not got it back.

“Obviously we’re going through a recession and it’s tough. Just walking up town you can see all the empty shops, people are struggling.

“I’m not sure if it wouldn’t make more sense for the council to refurbish what they’ve already got here.

“You can do a superb pool re-fit for around £3-4million.

“Rather than filling the town with false hopes, if they’re not going to do anything at the moment, come out and say it’s on hold until the climate alters.”

Greetham questioned the sporting nous within the council, stating they need someone to stand up for sport.

“Take a look around the cabinet. I don’t know who you would look to when it comes to sport,” he added.

“The town needs a Seb Coe. Someone to stand up for sport.

“They seem to have more interest in art than sport.”

Greetham said he would be more than happy to provide that impetus for SBC, he added: “If I was approached to offer my advice, of course I would help out. I’m passionate about sport and that is what is needed.”

Scarborough Pirates chief Dave Marsden has been left perplexed by the lack of information being relayed by the council on the project.

Marsden said: “ The big question for me is where is the funding coming from?

“They haven’t sold Seamer Road and nobody seems to be rushing to buy the sports centre on Filey Road either.

“Looking at the costs, is it still a viable project?

“It seems the council must be looking at the costs and weighing it all up.”

Former Edgehill FC manager and Scarborough & District Saturday League committee member Alec Coulson feels for the younger generation who are missing out on playing and watching football at a top ground.

Coulson said: “It’s a bit of a joke that we haven’t got a decent ground in Scarborough.

“Places like Pickering and even Pocklington have better facilities and we’ve still got nothing.

“Scarborough Athletic are playing in Bridlington and a generation are missing out on the chance to play in cup finals at a big stadium like we used to down at the McCain Stadium.”

SHARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE WEAPONNESS PROJECT: Email: daniel.gregory@jpress.co.uk or Tweet @mrdanielgregory