Further to the announcement in December 2011 to close Clairville Stadium and replace the complex with a new sports village to be built on the Prissick sports field the Mayor provided further details of the new venture including a timeline for completion of various parts of the overall scheme. Planning permission had recently been granted for the new sports provision and building work would start in the very near future.
An indication was given of the key elements of the first Phase which included an athletics field and stadium featuring 400m track with 10-lane straight and 8-lane bends and spectator seating; enhanced and extended indoor tennis courts and improved outdoor courts; fitness gyms and studios; full-size flood-lit Artificial Turf Pitch (ATP) and small-sized ATPs; and, associated car parking and landscaping.
The development featured a dedicated link road from Ladgate Lane and a new 1,100 space car park for the James Cook University Hospital which would help reduce traffic congestion on Marton Road.
The Mayor referred to the meeting of the Council held on 20 November 2013 when as part of the budget statement details had been provided surrounding the decision not to proceed with Phase 2b demolitions within the Gresham area, which would result in the Council not having to borrow approximately £14 million for the scheme.
As a result, the Councils financial borrowing capability had increased with regard to other possible projects, such as improvement to the road infrastructure, enhancement of facilities at Middlesbrough Theatre, as well as acting as a guarantor for private sector projects, with the latter being a 'vehicle designed to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of the town.
The Mayor stressed the importance for all Members to have the opportunity to contribute ideas and proposals which would form the Councils Capital Investment Programme for future years.
Members concurred with the need for improvements to the road infrastructure and enhancement of Middlesbrough Theatre which was regarded as an important attraction to Middlesbrough as well as the Town Hall. Initial suggestions for consideration included housing in areas such as Acklam Green, older housing stock in areas such as North Ormesby, refurbishment of pathways alongside certain roads, cycleways, replacement of street lighting, provision of solar panels where appropriate, energy efficiency and refurbishment/replacement of certain grass verges in Middlesbrough estates.
In relation to financial borrowing Members acknowledged the complexities in this regard and in relation to match funding with regard to joint ventures with the private sector and indicated the need for further information and careful consideration to be given to the overall costs and period of repayment.
The Mayor noted the suggestions made and asked Members to put forward other ideas for consideration as part of the Councils future Capital Investment Programme.