Sheffield Sharks’ plans for community basketball arena ‘edging closer’

How the Park Community Arena could look.
How the Park Community Arena could look.

Sheffield Sharks say they’re 'edging closer’ to finialising a bank loan which would help them achieve their goal of building a community basketball arena.

Sharks were asked to finalise a finanical plan which would enable them to build an arena on the Olympic Legacy Park by Sheffield Council in July.

The council is under pressure to be able to provide students with facilities by September 2019, when secondary pupils are due to join primary children at Oasis Academy Don Valley and its cabinet approved alternative proposals to provide provision at the English Institute of Sport.

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But Sarah Backovic, Sharks’ managing director, said the club were expecting verification reports to be submitted to the bank over the next few days as part of plans to build a community arena, which the schoolchildren could use.

She said: “It’s all edging closer. It’s been a been frustrating for us because this things aren’t in our own hands and timing wise we would like to be much faster.

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“But these things take time and we have to be patient. There are two different consultants – a business analyst and a construction consultant – and we have to wait for their reports to be submitted to the bank.”

Ms Backovic said the Sharks, together with Park Community Arena Ltd, have written to the council making them aware that its construction team can have it built by the September 2019 deadline - subject to final verification of the loan.

She said: "We have responded positively to all of the points in the cabinet meeting report. In terms of the construction, our team has confirmed that this build can be built by September 2019 so we are now a viable option for the council.

"If all matters can be finalised by the end of September then we can complete it by next September."

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If the bank loan is approved, Sharks then hope to obtain the rest of the funding from the council as a loan.

Speaking after a council meeting in July, council chief executive John Mothersole said: “If we move forward with EISS then change the decision there will be aborted costs and the council will have to face up to these and deal with it.

“But we need to stop talking and get a decision made. It’s about moving forward for the sake of the school while accepting the PCA option may firm up more. The ball is now in their court to make progress.”