Work on new Sheffield stadium set to begin this year

Work on Sheffield’s new Community Stadium is set to begin by the end of the year, as the Olympic Legacy Park’s expansion picks up pace.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 27th September 2019, 1:43 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 1:00 pm

Construction of the stadium, which will be home to Sheffield United Women Football Club and Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Football Club, is due to get underway this December.

Scarborough International Properties, which is developing the stadium, is also bringing forward plans for the rest of the sports and health hub in Attercliffe.

It is drawing up detailed proposals for the next raft of buildings, beginning with a cluster beside the stadium consisting of offices and business incubation space to support new companies, construction of which is scheduled to start by spring next year.

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How the Community Stadium at Sheffield's Olympic Legacy Park will look (pic: Whittam Cox Architects/Scarborough International Properties/Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park)

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And the company, run by Kevin McCabe, is designing the wider master plan for the site, too, which will extend to around 70 acres.

The stadium’s initial phase will include 750 seats for spectators, alongside a 4,141sqm office and commercial building, with permission granted for a final capacity of up to 3,921.

Sheffield Eagles, who already share the ground with Sheffield United Women, plan to continue using it during the 2020 season as construction takes place around the pitch.

In a statement, their board said: “The club has had a trying and testing time since the closure of Don Valley Stadium but this is the hugely positive news we’ve been waiting for and will be a new dawn for Sheffield Eagles.”

Mr McCabe recently lost his High Court battle for ownership of Sheffield United, but the Eagles said they had been assured that contest had ‘never been central’ to his interest in the stadium and further developing the Lower Don Valley.

The stadium will be the latest development at the park, where Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) and National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering have been recently completed, and a new school and university technical college have also opened.

There are also ambitions for a Child Health Technology Centre, and it is hoped the site will eventually mirror the success of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which has attracted investment from the likes of Boeing and McLaren.

Former sports minister Richard Caborn, who is project lead at the park, said there had been a ‘considerable number of enquiries’ from firms in the health and wellbeing sector about getting involved in the site, which he expects to accelerate when the AWRC opens shortly.

He added that the team was already working with companies including IBM, Samsung and Canon, who were interested in the research and development opportunities.

“We’re all working together to make sure one of the most deprived areas of Sheffield, if not the country, is going to be a jewel in the crown of the Sheffield economy, and we’re really excited about the latest developments,” he said.

“The thing I notice when I go down there is the pride of people in that area that after a long time things are starting to happen.”