Ambitious £10m plans to reinvigorate a Sheffield suburb, which were inspired by the teachings of its most famous adopted son, have been unveiled.
The Ingle Way through Wincobank would feature new running routes, play areas and even a nature reserve if the exciting proposals are brought to life in their entirety.
It has been designed to celebrate the achievements of boxing legend Brendan Ingle, who trained four world champions to glory from his gym there and gave hundreds of young people a leg up in life.
The circular route beginning at Meadowhall was drawn up by students at the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture, working in conjunction with Brendan’s family and members of the wider community.
Their vision is based around the great man’s principles, including self-discipline, respect for others and the importance of education.
“The Ingle Way celebrates the values and teachings of Brendan Ingle, using his legacy to reinvigorate Wincobank and continue to connect the community as the area looks to the future,” they state in a 72-page document setting out the proposals.
The total price tag is £9.8m, £8.1m of which would be needed to create a nature reserve and cafe on an existing marsh and derelict industrial land.
But the proposed route is broken down into six different sections, each of which includes elements ranging from simple, low-cost measures like litter-picking and tidying vegetation to more expensive ones like installing new play equipment and improving the road layout.
The idea is that work could begin immediately, with additions made as funding is secured for the more expensive parts.
Charlie Perriam, one of the 16-strong team of students who designed the route, said: “What struck us from the outset is how much Brendan means to everyone living in Wincobank. It was vital to make sure we did him justice.
“Everything links back to what he stood for, and the values he taught people, whether they were involved in boxing or not.”
The route is designed to help people exercise body and mind, to improve connections into and through Wincobank, and to make the neighbourhood more vibrant for visitors and residents alike.
It would begin outside the Oasis Dining Quarter at Meadowhall, beside the Square Ring artwork and statue of Brendan for which fundraising is already underway.
The path would then wend its way through Wincobank, with information boards, gym equipment and even treehouses planned along the route, which would be peppered with quotes from the much-loved trainer.
The proposals have the stamp of approval from Brendan’s daughter, Bridget Ingle, who said: “Dad would absolutely love this. He would be using it every day.”
THE ROUTE IN FULL
SQUARE RING – A mocked-up boxing ring featuring Brendan’s famous sayings and the coloured lines he used to teach boxers footwork has been designed by Gordon Young, and a fundraising campaign has been launch to pay for this and a statue of Brendan.
This ring outside Meadowhall’s Oasis Dining Quarter, where there are also plans for a performance space and steel walkway engraved with donors’ names, would mark the start of the Ingle Way.
TOTAL COST: £27,824 (not including the cost of the Square Ring, statue and walkway)
GATEWAY – The footbridge from Meadowhall would be re-branded Wincobank Bridge and a new step-free path to Tyler Street would be created to provide a more pleasant welcome to Wincobank.
TOTAL COST: £13,314
HERITAGE WALK – An unused footbridge near the Travelodge hotel could be converted into a pocket park celebrating the area’s industrial heritage, with a steel canopy and industrial-style benching, plus information boards teaching people about local history. It is described as a scaled-down version of New York’s famous High Line park.
TOTAL COST: £72,888
TRANS PENNINE TRAIL – This would feature outdoor gym equipment, a running route and picnic areas, with treehouses along the route.
There are plans to connect this with the disused gasworks, which it is hoped can be redeveloped.
TOTAL COST: £365,760
WELCOME TO WINCOBANK – This section would be centred around the Fife Street/Blackburn Road junction, where traffic calming measures are planned following a number of collisions over the year.
A trail would be created leading to a community square with a village Christmas tree, and there are plans to make more of Blackburn Brook, which flows through the area.
Should the funding become available, there are also plans to transform the existing marsh and industrial land into a large nature reserve with a cafe.
TOTAL COST: £9,251,384 (£8.1m for nature reserve)
BRENDAN’S POCKETS – The goal here is to better link the existing small parks, including the ‘Glove Garden’. Murals would be created, adding a splash of colour, and there would be stepping stones modelled on Brendan’s footwork.
The Ingle Garden behind the gym would be transformed, with a pond, pergolas and a treehouse added, and sensory elements designed with dementia patients from the local clinic in mind
TOTAL COST: £28,900