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New £3.5m home for Sheffield Sharks approved

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A new £3.5m (US$4.9m, €4.4m) arena for British basketball League (BBL) club the Sheffield Sharks has been approved for construction on the city’s Olympic Legacy Park (OLP) site.

Sheffield City Council has given the green light to the development, which will include a 3G sports pitch, a public park, private sector business headquarters and an Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).

The 2,500-capacity Park Community Arena is expected to be built this autumn. The facility will also be home to procurement and delivery company MLS Contracts.

Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons said the facility “heralds a bright new future” for the club and will provide a “fantastic home for all forms of basketball from junior to senior level”.

“This has been a project in the making for more than two-and-a-half years and will bring further affordable and sustainable community facilities into the area,” said project director of Park Community Arena, Gerry Montgomery. “We hope it will stimulate a new type of building that community clubs and groups can genuinely sustain.”

The arena has been designed to sit alongside the OLP’s existing sports facilities, including the English Institute of Sport and iceSheffield. It will provide a sports facility and event space for the local community, as well as those based at the AWRC and Oasis Academy school.

The 35-acre OLP – the biggest London 2012 legacy project – is a joint-venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council.

Former sports minister and Sheffield Central MP Richard Caborn said 2016 was set to be a “hugely exciting year for the OLP project” and it was expected to “bring further health and wellbeing benefits and economic impact to the city”.

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A new £3.5m (US$4.9m, €4.4m) arena for British Basketball League (BBL) club the Sheffield Sharks has been approved for construction on the city’s Olympic Legacy Park (OLP) site.
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