OakNorth Bank provides loan to create permanent home for Sheffield Eagles at Olympic Legacy Park

A major regeneration scheme is set to bring jobs and investment to Yorkshire’s traditional industrial heartland.

A computer generated image of the Olympic legacy park  provided by Whittam Cox
A computer generated image of the Olympic legacy park provided by Whittam Cox

OakNorth Bank has provided a £2.7m loan to Scarborough Group International (SGI), which will be used to support the development of a new community stadium at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The Legacy Stadium, which will eventually have capacity for up to 3,900 spectators, will include a three-storey, covered stand alongside 23,000 sq ft of business space and ancillary facilities. When completed it will become a permanent home to Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Football Club.

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A spokesman said: “The park is a major economic development project that will see the regeneration of approximately 200 acres of the Lower Don Valley industrial area.

“The development focuses on four work streams of health and wellbeing, investment and regeneration, research and innovation, and education and new skills.”

It is part of Sheffield City Region’s Global Innovation Corridor, which is a 20-mile area running from Sheffield city centre to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

SGI signed a development agreement with Sheffield City Council in December 2020 to deliver a masterplan for around 850,000 sq ft of commercial space at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Apart from the community stadium, which is due to be completed in February 2022, the developer intends to submit a planning application for the first phase of the scheme, which will feature a 40,000 sq ft enterprise centre to support businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors, by the end of the year.

Kevin McCabe, the chairman of SGI, commented: “We’re proud to be contributing to the development of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“It is set to be one of the leading modern science parks in the UK, dedicated to organisations in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors.

“This is the second significant facility we’ve completed with OakNorth Bank in 2021, having received £25.4m earlier this year to develop a major new office complex at Thorpe Park in Leeds.

“We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with OakNorth Bank, as we continue to complete our Northern Powerhouse projects.”

Greg Manson, Associate Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is in a great position to capitalise on the existing sports and health related institutions in the area, whilst also providing state-of-the-art working and social environments to help growing businesses in this field.

“Given SGI’s vast experience and leading reputation in the real estate industry, we anticipate this development to be another major success for the business. I have no doubts that this will be the first of many successful projects in the wider regeneration .”

Chris Noble MBE, Sheffield Eagles Chairman, commented: “We are delighted to be a major part of the new Legacy Stadium at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“ A permanent home for the club is something we have long-required and desired and the Legacy Stadium will provide this, with wonderful facilities for our players, staff and spectators."

Mr Noble added: “It’s exciting to see the project develop this year and we are extremely excited to begin life at the stadium next season.”

Founded by the McCabe family in 1980, Scarborough Group International has grown from a UK-based real estate developer and investor into a global organisation with a large development pipeline.

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank has lent several billion pounds to businesses.

It has borrowers across a variety of sectors, including: healthcare, consumer goods, vehicle and parts manufacturing, capital goods manufacturing, household professional services and nurseries.

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