A cash injection of £14m for Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park was confirmed in the Budget today.
The funding will be used to build an Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium in Attercliffe – creating 120 jobs and running 270 projects to increase physical activity.
The announcement was welcomed by Prof Philip Jones, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, one of the key partners in the plan.
He said it would fund a vision for “the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world.”
He added: “I’m proud that we have a significant stake in this good news story for Sheffield, which is testament to the hard work of many people at Sheffield Hallam.
“Working alongside our partners, our talented engineers and researchers at the new facility will play a leading role in revolutionising sport, health-care, physical activity and leisure.
“This development will help cement Sheffield Hallam’s global reputation for putting the science into sport and physical activity, but it will also be an exceptional asset for Sheffield and the wider region in helping to attract new jobs and investment.
“The AWRC will be part of the wider Don Valley ‘sports corridor’, which forms an important post-Olympic legacy for our region. It is a vision we are heavily invested in.
“We,in partnership with the English Institute for Sport, have played a lead role in developing the Sheffield Hallam City Athletics Stadium at Woodbourn Road and we will have a state-of-the-art research and development centre at the heart of the Olympic Legacy Park. Along with our £6m investment in the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park at Bawtry Road, this puts us in a great position going forward.”
Former sports minister and Labour MP for Sheffield Central Richard Caborn, park chairman, lobbied for funding and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, worked with him to secure it.
Mr Caborn said: “Countries around the world will now be looking to Sheffield as the leading light when it comes to the development of health and wellbeing technology.
“The investment Mr Clegg has helped to deliver from the Coalition Government will improve the health and wellbeing of thousands of people across the city, as well as delivering game-changing innovations and technology developments that will benefit even more people in the future.”