Sheffield Council to build extension at English Institute of Sport dashing Sheffield Sharks’ hopes of community basketball arena

Sheffield Council will start work to extend the English Institute of Sport within months seemingly leaving Sheffield Sharks’ hopes of a community basketball arena in tatters.

The authority asked the Sharks to finalise a bank loan which would enable them to build an arena on the Olympic Legacy Park back in July.

Sheffield Sharks in action against Manchester Giants in December

Sheffield Sharks in action against Manchester Giants in December

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But with the council under pressure to be able to provide students with sports facilities by September, when more secondary school pupils are due to join Oasis Academy Don Valley, it said it was pressing ahead with the EIS plans.

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Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said the council ‘needed to deliver the sports facilities for the school’.

Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council's cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure.

Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council's cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure.

A planning application made by Sheffield International Venues to build a four-court sports hall with storage and changing facilities at the EIS was withdrawn in November.

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But the council said it would be submitting fresh proposals for the EIS soon.

Sharks had hoped to build a 2,500-seater indoor sports arena on the old Don Valley Stadium site and the club has been fighting since plans for the OLP were first announced.

But those dreams now look in tatters after the council said it had not heard anything from anyone at the club regarding their financial plan.

Sharks currently play their home games at the EIS and sit second in the British Basketball League table.

They host Worcester Wolves on Friday – tip-off is at 7.30pm.