Work gets underway on new £5 million banqueting and conference suite in Sheffield

Work has started to build a new £5 million conference and banqueting venue in Sheffield.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 8:26 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 2:52 pm

Construction workers have started work on the facility – which will be known as the OEC – on land between Owlerton Stadium and Napoleon’s Casino.

It will cater for up to 500 guests and host weddings, conferences, large banquets, indoor sporting events and concerts.

The venue is due to open this autumn.

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Mark Allen, chief executive at A&S Leisure Group, said: “We've had a vision for this venue for some time now and we're excited to finally get cracking with the build stage.

"With an excellent reputation for offering great leisure and hospitality at Owlerton Stadium and at our four Yorkshire casinos and restaurants, this multi-million pound development will only add to that.

"Our time has been spent getting the right team in place to deliver this project, from local Yorkshire suppliers and contractors, to the appointment of venue director, Gary Cook. Gary's reputation for delivering outstanding venues and events around the region precedes him.

“His previous role at Chesterfield Football Club saw him launch the new £15 million stadium and we're confident he will help drive our vision forward making The OEC one of Yorkshire's finest events and conference venues."

The work will see part of demolishing part of the terracing at the greyhound stadium and the Hare and Hounds bar will also be demolished to make way for the new facility, which will also include four hospitality boxes, which can accommodate 20 guests.

John Gilburn, the former managing director of Owlerton Stadium was the mastermind behind the proposals before his death in October 2018.

Mr Gilburn died on October 9 at the age of 65 after falling ill while walking his daughter Maisie back to their family home in Thorpe Hesley.

Speaking before his death, he said: “Obviously we have got the stadium and we’ve got the casino next door and it’s a constant battle to encourage people to come to the area and to come to the stadium.

“The admissions are a bit flat and then with Baldwins closing we saw a golden opportunity – nobody else in Sheffield will have a facility this modern and this large.”

For more information on the project visit