Olympic venue team to advise on Colchester Northern Gateway sports hub plans

Artist's impression of how the new sports centre at Northern Gateway in Colchester could look. Image

Artist's impression of how the new sports centre at Northern Gateway in Colchester could look. Image: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

An Olympic venue operator has been appointed to advise Colchester Borough Council on its plans for a regional sports hub at the Northern Gateway.

Artist's impression of new sports centre at Northern Gateway, Colchester. Image: COLCHESTER BOROUGH

Artist's impression of new sports centre at Northern Gateway, Colchester. Image: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Vibrant Partnerships, a not-for-profit management company, runs the Lee Valley facilities, which includes the velodrome at the Stratford Olympic Park used in the London 2012 Games.

It has been brought in by the authority to advise the council on its own plans for a sports and leisure development north of the A12 off junction 28.

• Council due to discuss operator for sports complex.The site, due to open in autumn 2019, is due to include a cycle track and BMX course, a sports hall and indoor cricket facilities, plus the relocated Colchester Rugby Club.

• Concept revealed for Northern Gateway sports hub.An update being presented to the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, August 9, confirms several different funding bids are underway, while talks are still ongoing for an Extra Care Village to form part of the housing redevelopment planned for the existing rugby club site in Mill Road.

British Cycling, Sport England and the Rugby Football Union are also involved in the scheme.

Annie Feltham, borough councillor for commercial services, said: “I am delighted that at cabinet we will be discussing the next stage in the development of our exciting plans for Northern Gateway.

“Our previous press releases have set out the council’s vision for a ground-breaking leisure and employment complex which we are confident will attract visitors from Colchester and beyond.

“We will be supported by advice from specialist sports and leisure consultants and we will continue with our excellent contacts with the future operators of the facilities and with sports organisations.”

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The council is also investigating innovative forms of construction in a bid to achieve more economical and environmentally-friendly buildings.

Overall the planned development will include a large outdoor area with seven full-size and three junior rugby pitches, a mile-long floodlit cycling track and BMX area, two full-size floodlit artificial pitches and an archery range, dog training area and horse riding route.

There will also be a two-storey pavilion, car park with 400 spaces, and a sports hall including five courts, cycling fitness suite, cycle hire shop and a soft play area for children.