UNIVERSITY bosses yesterday unveiled plans for a £4.8m refurbishment of a sports ground which was first set up to be used by workers at a steel company.
Sheffield Hallam University said the major re-development of its sports facilities in Bawtry Road, Tinsley, Sheffield, would begin shortly to provide students as well as the local community with top quality facilities for competitive and recreational sport.
The site, which was once used by staff from Sheffield firm Firth Vickers, was bought by the university in 2003.
It currently consists of several outdoor grass playing fields, a pavilion with changing rooms and an indoor sports hall with a bar area.
New plans for the site include significant improvements to the playing fields to create several international standard floodlit rugby and football pitches, synthetic pitches and a brand new sports pavilion.
The site is available to Sheffield Hallam students and teams, but is also used by local community teams playing a range of sports, including Sheffield United Cricket Club.
All these clubs will continue to use the site after it has been redeveloped.
Mark Swales, director of estates and facilities at the university, said: “This is a significant and exciting investment for the university, but it will also benefit the community teams who use the site.
“Sheffield Hallam has a long term sport strategy and the investment in Bawtry Road is key to achieving that.
“Our sport courses are in high demand and Sheffield Hallam teams are competing more and performing better.
“To support this we want to give our students the best facilities on which to play competitive and recreational sport.”
The new sports pavilion will be designed by specialist sports architects Watson Batty and will be situated in the centre of the site.
Souters Sports Ltd have already started to prepare the pitches and the university said it will make a formal planning application for the pavilion development in the autumn, with the project expected to be completed by autumn 2013.