Work begins on Sheffield venue revamp

Woodbourn Athletics Arena.
Woodbourn Athletics Arena.
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Work to revamp Sheffield’s closed Woodbourn Road stadium has begun – with the project to end before Don Valley shuts.

Paul Billington, Sheffield Council’s director of culture, has revealed details of the revamp at the Attercliffe venue, which includes refurbishing floodlight columns and replacing all 450 seats.

Woodburn Stadium, Woodburn Road, Attercliffe

Woodburn Stadium, Woodburn Road, Attercliffe

The aim is to complete work before the nearby 25,000-capacity Don Valley Stadium is shut due to council budget cuts – Woodbourn Road itself was closed in July 2011 after council chiefs decided the venue was too expensive to run and maintain.

Now, the changing rooms at Woodbourn Road are to be revamped, there will be a ‘deep clean’ of the track and the grass in the centre will be improved so it can be used again for field events.

Mr Billington said: “The project is on time, on budget and will result in the same track and field specification as Don Valley, which is due to close in September.

“We have worked closely with the city’s athletics clubs and are pleased to say they are backing the plan.

“Once ready, Woodbourn will cater for all athletes from the beginner to highly accomplished.”

However, Tony Minichiello, coach of Sheffield’s Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, said: “A lot more needs to be done than what the council is proposing. The grass needs re-seeding, sand pits for long jump replacing because they have glass in them and the pole vault area is too close to a fence for modern standards.”