Sheffield Sharks await decision on bank loan to build community basketball arena

Sheffield Sharks remain hopeful of securing a bank loan for a community basketball arena despite weeks of delays in the verification process.

Sharks were asked to finalise a financial plan which would enable them to build an arena on the Olympic Legacy Park by Sheffield Council in July.

How the arena on the Olympic Legacy Park could look

How the arena on the Olympic Legacy Park could look

The council is under pressure to be able to provide students with facilities by September 2019, when secondary pupils are due to join primary children at Oasis Academy Don Valley and its cabinet approved alternative proposals to provide provision at the English Institute of Sport.

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But Sarah Backovic said the club was still waiting on the verification reports coming back and had been held up by staff shortages at the bank.

Ms Backovic said: “It’s been a been frustrating for us because this things aren’t in our own hands and timing wise we would like to be much faster.

“But these things take time and we have to be patient. There are two different consultants – a business analyst and a construction consultant – and we have to wait for their reports to be submitted to the bank.”

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

She said: “We understand the Sharks are progressing their plans to raise finance. In the meantime, we need to deliver sports facilities for the school and we are doing that with Sheffield City Trust."

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Ms Backovic said the Sharks, together with Park Community Arena Ltd, have written to the council making them aware that its construction team can have it built by the September 2019 deadline - subject to final verification of the loan.