Olympic Legacy Park: £300m 'gold rush' of development set to bring hundreds of jobs to Sheffield
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A £40m innovation centre for 50 firms and 12 factories and laboratories are in the next stage of the Olympic Legacy Park development in Attercliffe amid ‘dizzying’ interest.
A glass ‘winter gardens’ style atrium and huge climbing wall also feature in the project, earmarked for a plot near the Arena tram stop. An outline planning application is due within weeks.
Chris Low, chief executive of Olympic Legacy Park Ltd, told how the OLP was developing an ‘irresistible gravity’ to investors and companies looking to relocate or expand.
Biotech firms were interested in the laboratories, he said. And companies bringing manufacturing back from overseas wanted factory space.
Existing assets were in high demand too, he added, business space in the new Sheffield Eagles Rugby League stadium was four times oversubscribed with two firms ‘wanting to take the whole thing’.
Mr Low said: “There’s a whiff of gold rush saloon about the site. The interest is dizzying.”
But he insisted it would not just be an ‘oasis for elite capital’.
“All this will mean nothing if we don’t touch Attercliffe. I will judge myself on jobs, opportunities and start-ups locally. It has to be a gateway to a better world,” he said.
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He also paid tribute to former sports minister and Sheffield MP Richard Caborn who had drummed up interest in the derelict site following the demolition of the Don Valley Stadium.
The £150m first phase of the OLP includes a school, college and centres for food research and wellbeing, and a stadium.
Work on a £14m Canon diagnostic imaging research hub in a £5m Park Community Arena starts in two weeks, Mr Low said. It will have three basketball courts and be the new home of Sheffield Sharks basketball team.
The OLP is also set to include a conference centre, hotel and £25m National Centre for Child Health Technology.
Partners in the project include Kevin McCabe’s development company Scarborough International, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and the NHS.
Don Valley Stadium was built in 1991 as the flagship athletics venue for the World Student Games in Sheffield. It fell victim to Sheffield City Council funding cuts and was demolished in 2013.