Town's new multi-million pound sports centre set to open in spring
- Credit: R G Carter
Builders have finished work on an "exceptional" £29m community sports complex in Colchester which is due to open in spring 2021.
Regional construction firm R G Carter says it has now completed the Colchester Borough Council project - a 76-acre sports and leisure facility off the A12 at the town's Northern Gateway.
It includes a floodlit one-mile closed cycle track, a learn to ride facility and cycle pump track, two 4G pitches and seven traditional grass rugby pitches.
Inside the sports centre building is a five-court sports hall with facilities for sports including badminton, futsal and indoor cricket. There is also a fitness suite, exercise and dance studios, an interactive velo studio, meeting rooms and a café.
The clubhouse overlooks the 4G and grass pitches which will become the new home of Colchester Rugby Football Club and an archery range and clubhouse have also been built for Colchester and District Archery Club.
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Green open spaces around the site include more than 500 trees and almost 120,000 hedgerow plants, shrubs, perennials and grasses with further extensive planting planned.
Colchester Borough Council funded the development which was project-managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd. Groups including British Cycling, Sport England, and from England and Wales Cricket Club have also sunk funds into the project.
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R G Carter has now handed over the development to Colchester Borough Council.
R G Carter director James Wilson said it had been "a pleasure" to work with Colchester Amphora on a "forward-thinking and unique project".
"Supporting the borough’s vision for providing the local community with a first-class sports hub, this new facility will encourage sport participation for many years to come,” he added.
Leader of Colchester Borough Council Mark Cory said the completion of the "inspiring" facility marked a huge milestone in the council's vision to give all residents opportunities to play sport, be healthy and enjoy outdoor spaces.
"Importantly for me, the Sports Park will be accessible for all, offering activities for all abilities and those with disabilities," he said.
“My thanks to R G Carter for their expertise and commitment to deliver this project in what has been a challenging year. The result is an exceptional Sports Park that will enable people both locally and from across the wider region to get involved, get active and make the most of the remarkable facilities Colchester can offer. When things return to normal after Covid, this will be a facility Colchester can be proud of.”
The new facility - which is part of the wider Colchester Northern Gateway development - will be operated by Leisure World Colchester. Anyone interested in finding out more about hiring the new sport facilities, can complete an expression of interest form by visiting colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/northerngatewaysportspark.