People who want to get their sport or organisation involved in £50 million Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield can do so – but only if they raise the money.
Richard Caborn told a public meeting into the plans for the former Don Valley site that he wants to include as many sports as possible on the 26-acre site.
The development will include an Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, a school, a university technical college, multi-purppse basketball courts, a purpose-built complex, featuring a high-quality synthetic pitch and a main stand seating 2,500 and a hotel.
A public meeting at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe was attended by representatives from organisations already involved – including Oasis Academy Don Valley, the UTC and Sheffield Eagles – who gave a short presentation on their plans.
Members of the public then got the opportunity to quiz the project leaders.
Pensioner Robert Jackson, aged 84, asked why an indoor bowling centre had not been included in the plans.
Project leader and former sports minister Richard Caborn said funding had already come from the Sheffield Eagles, Sheffield Sharks, the Oasis Academy and the UTC for their parts of the development.
He said: “I have got no money – all I have is 26 acres of land. The council said to me you can have the land if you can build something on it debt free.
“I will help anyone in any sport if you can bring the money.”
Local residents who raised concerned about an increase in traffic on congested roads were told engineers are working on a transport plan as part of a planning application being submitted to Sheffield Council in April.
David Hobson, chief executive of the Olympic Legacy Park, said the area already has some of the best transport links with the Supertram and the M1 and will be further improved with the Bus Rapid Transit North scheme between Sheffield and Rotherham.
He added: “We believe a lot of youngsters coming here will be using more of the public transport than actually arriving in cars.”
The Olympic Legacy Park is a joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Council.