The Scrutiny Support Officer presented a report to outline the purpose of the meeting which was to receive information regarding the development of Middlesbrough's Sports Village at Prissick and the potential impact of the new facility on other sports and leisure facilities across the town.
Work on the £18 million Sports Village at Prissick had recently commenced and the Council's Corporate Programme Manager was in attendance to provide an update on the development of the project.
The Panels last update was in July 2013 and at that time it was proposed that Tennis World would be included within Sports Village hub building. However, following discussions, the Tennis World Club management had decided that it would stay in its current location. Tennis World was sited on Council-owned land and had a 125 year lease. Tennis World owned and maintained its own buildings.
Following negotiations, a new lease had been agreed and part of the land would be sold for development. The Council and Tennis World would receive £0.5 million each from the land sale which would be re-invested. The Council was working in partnership with Tennis World with regard to the marketing programme for the Sports Village and pricing arrangements. It was clarified that although Tennis World would be an integral part of the Sports Village, it would remain a separately funded and managed business in its own right.
As a consequence of the negotiations with Tennis World, the Sports Village had been re-designed to include an arena venue and multi-court area. The arena would accommodate 260 people seated on movable seating. The multi-court area would be used for sports including roller hockey, badminton, basketball, netball and five-a-side football.
The outdoor running track would be operational from October 2014 with temporary changing facilities available to accommodate athletes once the Clairville Stadium closed. The main Sports Village building would open in April 2015 with permanent changing facilities. An indoor sprint track had been included which was a multi-functional area that could be used for high jump, aerobics or carpet bowls for example, as well as for running.
British Cycling had agreed to provide £0.5 million of funding for a 250 metre velodrome and it was anticipated that the total cost would be approximately £1.2 million. An additional BMX site and football pitch had also been designated space on the plan. It was anticipated that Sport England might provide some funding for the BMX facility. Discussions had taken place with Middlesbrough Football Club with a view to them utilising the pitch for Under 17s and Reserve Matches. Cricket provision was currently available at Hemlington and in other parts of the town and a cricket pitch would be reinstated at Prissick once the development was completed.
A large area had been designated for an indoor childrens play area and a Cafe. There was a 100 station Active Gym on the first floor with a functional training area, including kinesis equipment, a cardio area with treadmills, bikes, etc and a weight training area for strength and conditioning work.
Members watched an animation which gave an overview of the Sports Village.
In response to a query as to whether a creche facility would be available, the Sports and Leisure Operations Manager explained that creches had been removed from the Councils leisure centres several years ago due to the level of subsidy required. However, leasing to nurseries and day care providers was an option that could be considered in phase two of the programme. Facilities for breast feeding would be provided in line with other leisure facilities in the town.
It was confirmed that pricing for activities at the Sports Village would be in line with the Middlesbrough offer under the Active Middlesbrough brand to ensure that these services are accessible to the residents of Middlesbrough.
With regard to Roller Hockey the proposal was that competitive matches would be played at the Sports Village, since the arena would meet international standards, whilst training sessions would continue at the Rainbow Centre.
The Cafe would be run in-house, essentially as part of the childrens play area as this type of facility had been proven to make a profit. Hosting childrens parties would be key to maximising income revenue. It would also encourage young families to use the Centre for leisure and hopefully to become more healthy and active. There was also an intention to obtain a license to sell alcohol so that bar facilities could be provided for example for team presentation events.
The location of the Sports Village was queried with regard to the existing high volumes of traffic on Marton Road. It was explained that a Traffic Impact Assessment had been carried out in relation to the Sports Village, Marton Road and Ladgate Lane. There was no vehicular access to the Sports Village from Marton Road. Work had been carried out on Ladgate Lane to widen the access and a new road had been constructed to provide access to the Sports Village, a new development of approximately 200 houses, as well as an 1100 space car park. The car park had been funded by James Cook University Hospital and would provide parking for employees. This would alleviate the traffic on Marton Road. It was also noted that a new train stop had been installed at the Hospital.
The only access to the Sports Village off Marton Road would be for pedestrians or cyclists and work was underway on some new signage for the site.
It was clarified that the funding for the project was capital funding, mainly from the sale of land at Clairville and Section 106 agreements and not from the Councils main revenue budget.
The Sports Village building would have the infrastructure for the provision of wi-fi, and a digital strategy for the whole of Middlesbrough was currently being developed.
The Scrutiny Support Officer informed the Panel that the Chair would be attending a Project Meeting on 3 September 2014 to present the Panels views. A summary of the Panel's discussions to date would be circulated to Panel Members in advance of that meeting and Members were requested to let the Scrutiny Support Officer or Chair have any comments.
1. the information provided was received and noted.
2. Panel Members would provide any further comments they wished to make on the proposals for the Sports Village to the Chair or Scrutiny Support Officer before 3 September 2014.