A new county standard athletics track at Heslington West Sports Centre has today been announced, providing a boost to athletics in the city and a new home for the City of York Athletics Club.
An agreement between the University of York, the Athletics Club and City of York Council paves the way for the establishment of an athletics facility, which will be completed by the end of 2014.
The decision to build the facility on the Heslington West complex is based on the substantial benefits identified over earlier plans to base the new facility at the £10 million York Sport Village near Grimston Bar. Considerable cost savings have been achieved through the use of existing infrastructure at Heslington West and have enabled the provision of higher quality and a wider range of facilities. The short construction schedule will also allow York Athletics Club to vacate Huntington Stadium between seasons, causing minimal disruption to their sporting programme.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “This is an important day for the development of community sport in the city. Working in partnership with the Athletics Club and the University has enabled us to move forward with our commitment to the delivery of a new high quality athletics facility that is sustainable and will support the growth of athletics in York for years to come.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, Professor Brian Cantor, said: “We have a deep commitment to promoting the health and well-being of people throughout the city. Many members of the community already take advantage of our outstanding sports and recreational facilities, and it gives us great pleasure to enhance our facilities by providing a superb new athletics track for all our students and for the City of York Athletics Club.”
Neil Hunter, the chair of the Athletic Club, said: “Confirmation that the athletics stadium will definitely be delivered in 2014 is very welcome news. The club has actively increased participation over a number of years in anticipation of this and consequently space at the existing facility is at a premium. The move cannot come soon enough.
“It is clear that the Council and University share the same vision for a community based athletic club in York and we now have agreements in place regarding the long term commitment to this great new facility. I am confident that the new facilities will further increase the number of participants able to enjoy athletics and, in addition, we may see more York based athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic & Paralympic Games”.