Dream of new sports stadium in York takes step forward

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A Yorkshire city’s long-awaited sports stadium is set to be ready in 2016 after the project took a major step forward today.

The stadium which will be the new home of York City Football Club and York City Knights rugby league team, has been beset by delays and concerns were raised that it would not be ready for the start of the football season in August 2016.

But today it was confirmed it is still planned for the stadium to be up and running by late summer 2016 as York City Football Club and York Council marked an another milestone in the development, putting the official seal on an agreement which will see the club take a long term tenancy at their new home. The agreement also secured a £2m contribution towards the new stadium pledged by the club from the outset of the project, supported by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

Coun Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism for York Council said: “This represents a significant milestone for the delivery of the York Community Stadium and Leisure Complex. Over the last three years we have made great progress in securing outline planning and funding, with work to begin in spring 2015.

“This stadium and leisure complex is the first of its kind for York; an 8,000 all-seater stadium with a high-quality hospitality alongside conferencing and swimming facilities fit for the 21st century. It will also have fitness and active play areas as well as a new community hub focussed on providing health and wellbeing services for York residents and visitors.

Jason McGill, York City Football Club chairman, said: “We are very pleased to have completed the negotiations and signed this agreement, which provides York City with long term security in the new community stadium and offers the club the opportunity to be commercially viable going forward.”

The leisure complex, which will replace the existing Waterworld and Courtney’s Gym complex adjacent to the stadium, will provide a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool and provide a competition standard sports hall facility for netball, badminton and basketball, gym and five-a-side pitches. The scheme also includes the associated county standard athletics track being built at Heslington West campus at the University of York and will be home to the City of York Athletics Club, and Rugby League training and reserve facilities at York St John University.