Olympic Legacy Park: Julie Dore hails project success as development nears completion - seven years after Don Valley demolition
The leader of Sheffield Council has praised the opening of the ‘most advanced research centre in the world for activity’, claiming the authority has stayed true to its promise.
Councillor Julie Dore made the tough decision seven years ago to knock down Don Valley Stadium and made a commitment to build the Olympic Legacy Park in its place - which is nearly completed.
She said: "I want to thank Richard Caborn for leading on this. Seven years ago people were extremely sceptical of our vision and plan and I made a promise that it would not be a supermarket and would not be housing - it definitely needed to be a legacy of what Don Valley Stood for.
“People were extremely sceptical and said ‘oh, you’ve done this on the back of a fag packet’. No, this was always a real vision."
She said it would have been easy to sell it and get millions from a supermarket or housing but they wanted it to be ‘for Sheffield,’ create jobs and encourage healthy living.
The latest addition to the site is the multi-million pound Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre - which the council claims is the ‘most advanced in the world’.
It is the centrepiece of the park and brings together designers, technologies and charities for the common purpose of research, new technologies, products and services.
Coun Dore said: "We made a commitment to build a world class, leading health and wellbeing park that offered education, health and wellbeing, leisure activity and also business opportunities. One of the leading sectors in our region is health technology and now we’ve got the university technical college that leads into all that, a new stadium and businesses now negotiating to come onto the park.
“For us it’s a real local story because it goes back seven years ago to that really difficult and unpopular decision and trying to take the community with us. And it’s in Darnall so it’s an area where they have got deprivation and we hope it will enthuse and inspire the young people at the schools and technical college."