Don Valley Stadium closure considered as part of cuts

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SHEFFIELD Council is giving serious consideration to closing Don Valley Stadium to save the £700,000 annual subsidy which it has to pay to cover the venue’s costs.

The stadium, built for the World Student Games, has stuggled to attract major events in recent years and will soon need a £1.6 million refurbishment.

Sheffield Council needs to make £50 million of cuts over the next year.

The news has been greeted with dismay by Tony Miniciello, Jessica Ennis’s coach.

He said: “We use Don Valley regularly on Sunday and Monday and it forms a substantial part of our training.

“It’s shocking that they are talking about demolishing it and it would make things very difficult for us, but, like anything, you find a way. Jess will not leave Sheffield.

“The sad thing is it destroys any kind of legacy and no one else like Jess will be able to come through there.”

Ennis already travels to Leeds for javelin training under Mick Hill, although that involves university facilities which may not always be available, while other options include Doncaster and Rotherham.

Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “These are extraordinarily difficult times and we have said that we will have to look at tough budget options because of the devastating Government cuts to public spending and local government.

“We have said all along that we have to consider all options and Don Valley Stadium is one of the bigger options on the table.

“I want to make it clear that no decisions have been made and when we are in a position to confirm our spending decisions we will do so.”

For full story see tomorrow’s Star.