Redevelopment plans for the site of the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield have been announced, together with refurbishment ideas for the nearby Woodbourn Road facility.

The multi-use 25,000-capacity Don Valley, where Olympic champion Jessica Ennis trains, is Britain’s second-biggest athletics stadium but operates at a massive loss for the local council, who announced in March that it will close in September to help meet the needed £500m budget cuts.

Described by former sports minister Richard Caborn as the “biggest Olympic legacy project outside of London”, the redevelopment will see the site house a £40m “sports and wellbeing park”.

Proposals include new homes for the Rugby League and Union teams of Sheffield, as well as venues for basketball, snooker and gymnastics.

The new National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine would also be erected on the site but, surprisingly, the plans don't include a venue for athletics - they would move to the smaller Woodbourn Road stadium, which initially closed in 2011 but will also be redeveloped as part of the plans.

Carborn admitted that the £40m cost announced was currently a “back of a fag packet” estimate. Details of how the redevelopment will be funded haven't been released. 

Posted on 12/03/2013