£30m Community sports hub for Warrington
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Warrington Borough Council (WBC) has given final planning permission for the £30m Orford Park Project.

Billed as on of the UK's first sustainable community sports hubs, the Orford Park Project will be located in a Super Output Area, already regarded as an example of best practice in promoting joint service delivery, health and wellbeing.

When completed, the centre will provide a variety of community, health and education facilities including a community sports village complete with pools, sports hall, health and fitness suite, football pitches, library, health centre, and a £3.9m 14-19 Diploma Centre.

Scheduled to open in November 2011, Orford Park is expected to have two million visitors each year.

The development will also transform 50 acres of a former landfill site back into use as well as enhance the facilities of an adjacent Victorian community park.

Orford Park will be funded in partnership by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Sport England North West Region, the Football Foundation, the Big Lottery Fund and support from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) through BSF. Funding for the Diploma Centre has also been allocated by DCSF through its Exemplar Diploma Initiative.

WBC has worked together with Capita Symonds on the project, which provided a framework for a project management plan.

According to a WBC spokesperson, key to the sustainability of the project is the development and delivery of a Community Investment Fund providing an annual revenue stream which will support ongoing maintenance and replacement/renewal of equipment.

In addition, it will also provide monies for engagement and outreach development to increase participation in physical activity and subsidised admission for target groups, as well as attracting private sector investment which will help support a number of localised initiatives including the creation of new jobs and securing of office space.

Construction is due to begin in early 2010.

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "Orford Park is an important project which aims to create a leading edge sports hub right here in the Northwest and provide the region with a strong legacy from London 2012.

"Sport makes a major contribution to our regional economy, and this project will continue to help create and support jobs within the sector, which is particularly important as we move from recession to recovery."

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Warrington Borough Council (WBC) has given final planning permission for the £30m Orford Park Project.
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