Plans revealed for major sports arena and medical diagnostic centre at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Plans have been revealed for building a major sports arena and medical diagnostic centre at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 8:06 pm

The new ‘Park Community Arena’ is anticipated to open in 2023 as the UK’s first affordable carbon net-zero built sports, healthcare and community arena featuring an integrated Medical Diagnostic Centre – and will be home to the city’s main basketball teams.

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Canon Medical Systems UK has announced what they described as a unique health and wellbeing collaboration with Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, BBraun Sheffield Sharks basketball franchise, PCA Ltd and The LivingCare Group.

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Plans have been revealed for a major sports arena and medical diagnostic centre at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. PIctured is the project launch at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

The arena will offer a flexible sporting facility, featuring three full-size basketball courts, and designed to hold 2,500 spectators.

Sheffield Sharks and Sheffield Hatters new basketball home

It will be the new home for the Sheffield Sharks and the Sheffield Hatters professional basketball teams and also available to wider sporting, education, and community organisations.

Working with local educational partners, it will establish a leading UK basketball academy and programme, serving the spectrum of elite to recreational basketball players.

To the north end of the arena, Canon Medical will open a Medical Diagnostic Centre to bring healthcare closer to people and boost access to health screening and disease prevention.

It will create ‘one-stop-shops’ for healthcare checks, scans and tests outside the traditional hospital environment to overcome Covid-19 pandemic backlogs, improve earlier diagnosis and cut patients’ journeys.

It will be managed by LivingCare and be available to the wider community in conjunction with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System and local NHS providers. The Medical Diagnostic Centre will feature advanced imaging systems including AI-assisted CT and MRI, diagnostic ultrasound, digital X-ray and include consulting rooms, a minor surgery operating theatre and an Endoscopy suite.

Specialist sports diagnostic imaging centre

The Medical Diagnostic Centre will provide the region’s first specialist sports diagnostic imaging centre that will translate elite-level health, injury, and rehabilitation learnings to routine clinical practice. This will enable early detection, prevention and faster rehabilitation for sports injury and illness, as well as provide pre-season medicals and sports injury services to professional, elite, semi-professional and committed athletes.

Mark Hitchman, managing director of Canon Medical UK, described the Park Community Arena as a pioneering carbon net-zero built sports, healthcare and community arena for the people of South Yorkshire.

He said: “It will increase affordable access to sports and community events and provide a home for the BBraun Sheffield Sharks and Hatters basketball teams to play, train and expand their valuable RESPECT and RESPECT TOO community outreach programmes for local young people.

“The Medical Diagnostic Centre at the Park Community Arena will play a part in expanding healthcare capacity for local people where they can attend minor surgery appointments or have diagnostic scans and other tests as part of a health prevention and early detection programme.

"This close-to-the-community approach in a non-clinical environment will be better for people that may be anxious of hospitals or benefit from the excellent transportation links to the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“It will be an advanced healthcare facility featuring the latest Canon Medical innovations that are designed to deliver detailed diagnostic imaging to assist clinicians with confident and earlier diagnoses to improve the long-term health outcome for patients. It will also be a hub for our research and development teams working in cooperation with neighbouring academia to continue progress on developing healthcare innovations for the future.”

Additional capacity for scans for NHS

Luke Minshall, director of strategy and partnerships at LivingCare said it was a great opportunity for the community of Sheffield to have its healthcare provision expanded. He said: “The Park Community Arena will provide a central and accessible location for general imaging referrals from professional sports clubs to health insurance companies as well as offering the NHS and its patients additional capacity for scans and imaging procedures closer to home.”

Yuri Matischen, Chairman of PCA Ltd and the Sharks, described the Olympic Legacy Park as already synonymous with encouraging physical wellbeing, and home to 2,000 pupils and students. He feels it has great transport links making it the ideal location for the community arena.

He added: “It will provide the new permanent home for the Sharks and Hatters allowing basketball to transform and flourish, and be an accessible and inspirational home for other sports clubs from the area’s diverse communities. We are truly excited to be working with Canon Medical, LivingCare and all partners on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to extend the City’s sporting reputation and inspire young people to be physically active.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, co-chairman of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee at Sheffield Council said the facilities would provide world-class healthcare for local people and strengthen the city’s communities.

He said: “As well as providing a brand-new home for the Sheffield Sharks and creating another flexible events space for the city, these additions to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park will boost the local economy – increasing footfall and bringing new opportunities to the surrounding areas. People of all ages will benefit from having a range of cutting-edge facilities right on their doorstep, as Sheffield leads the way in sustainable innovation and medical research.”

Richard Caborn, chairman of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, described Canon Medical as a valued partner in the development of the Olympic Legacy Park since it was set up. He said: “The new Park Community Arena will further extend the health and wellbeing collaboration possibilities with our two Sheffield teaching hospitals, our university partners and elite sports facilities to create a flourishing international centre for diagnostic imaging located in the North of England.”