£5m sports park kicks off

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WORK has started on a £5m-plus redevelopment of Sheffield Hallam University’s Bawtry Road sports centre.

Local sporting stars Howard Webb, Mark Aston and Adrian Henderson cut the turf to launch the revamp, which will create international standard rugby and football pitches, synthetic pitches and a new sports pavilion named after Graham Solley, the university’s former head of sport.

Howard Webb gave the plans his seal of approval, less than 24 hours after refereeing the FA Cup quarter final between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford.

He said: “It’s wonderful that these sporting facilities are something that local people can use and that people are investing in sport for this generation and the next as well.”

The Tinsley centre will be known as Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park and is part of a £100m university programme of development.

Mark Swales, director of estates and facilities, said: “This is a significant and exciting investment for the university, but it will also benefit the community teams who use the site.

“Sheffield Hallam has a long term sport strategy and the investment in the new Sports Park is key to achieving that.”

The sports pavilion is being designed by specialist sports architects Watson Batty and will be in the centre of the site. Project management is being undertaken by Rider Levett Bucknall.

The development is due for completion by the autumn.