Costs soar for long-awaited York stadium plans

York community stadium
York community stadium
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A STALLED plan to build a new stadium for two of York’s sports clubs could finally get underway after more than a decade in the planning but council bosses will need to find another £5m.

Councillors last year approved plans for the 8,000-seat community stadium, which will provide a permanent home for both York City Football Club and the York City Knights Rugby League Club, but the proposals have since been hit by delays.

Next week members of York Council’s executive committee will be asked to commit a further £5.4m to the project after building costs increased. If approved it is expected that the new stadium will be completed in Winter 2017 and both clubs will be playing games at their new home in time for their respective 2018/2019 seasons.

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When the plans were passed last year it had been hoped that games could be played as early as the 2016/2017 season but councillors will be told when they meet next Thursday that mounting cost pressures forced a review of the proposals.

Coun Chris Steward, the leader of York Council, said: “In 2015 significant budget overruns emerged and officers have worked hard to address these. Through these proposals we anticipate the site will be completed by winter 2017, which will provide a wide-range of significant benefits for the city, including for the city’s football and rugby league teams.”

“These proposals reinforce our commitment to delivering a community stadium and leisure facility by winter 2017,” Coun Nigel Ayre, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism added.

The proposals also include leisure facilities including a swimming pool, competition standard sports hall and 3G astro turf sports pitches. In addition it will also include a 13-screen multiplex cinema, five restaurants, shops and the city’s first digital IMAX screen.

Costs for the community stadium and leisure facilities are now estimated at £44.2m and as a result officers are recommending an increase in borrowing by the council of £5.4m. The overall increase in capital costs is primarily due to building inflation pressures and delays in the overall timetable.

Coun Ayre said the local authority was committed to building a stadium.

Members will be told if the executive does not approve the recommendations to progress with the project, there will be a range of implications, which include an abortive cost charge of £4.2m - which will impact on council reserves and a new bidding process will need to take place.