The Olympic Legacy Park (OLP) – which is set to become an internationally recognised centre for health, wellbeing and innovation – has been awarded £4.9m by the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund (SCRIF).
SCRIF is the Sheffield City Region’s major capital investment fund; it comprises government funding as well as contributions from local authorities and private sector partners in an effort to deliver strategic infrastructure and increase economic growth and jobs in the Sheffield City Region.
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, stated: “The funding from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund will go a long way towards finalising the Olympic Legacy Park’s ambitious vision. The collaborative nature of the Park, the planning of which brought together organisations and individuals from the public and private sectors from across the region, is representative of the practical and community-based work ethic that makes the SCR such a straightforward and reliable place to do business.
“In the Sheffield City Region we are proud of just getting the job done. The OLP is just another of our many recent successes, and the LEP looks forward to facilitating further similar partnerships in the future.”
The SCRIF funding will be invested in creating the public realm and infrastructure, which includes green spaces, drainage, utilities and spaces for developing health and sport innovations in the external environment.
Plans include the development of a variety of natural habitats with flora and fauna, an orchard with fruit trees and vantage points offering views of Sheffield.
The park landscape will be designed to provide opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation activities such as running, walking and cycling. There will also be a flexible car parking area which can be transformed into outdoor spaces for major sports events.
Work is due to start in September this year and is expected to be completed by March 2017. It will be delivered by three Sheffield-based companies – ARES Landscape Architects, ARUP and Turner and Townsend.
The 35-acre Olympic Legacy Park – the biggest London 2012 legacy project of its kind in Europe – is being developed in the East End of Sheffield. It is expected that the Park will help foster the creation of 1,000 high-value jobs, and already counts the investment of leading companies like Toshiba and Westfield Health in the areas of research and innovation.
Characterising the strong business ethic and culture of partnership in the region, the OLP is a joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council.
David Hobson, project director for the Olympic Legacy Park, said: “The funding from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund will support the delivery of the park’s infrastructure which, in turn, will support private sector investment opportunities in new offices generating economic growth and new jobs for the Sheffield City Region.
“The public realm design will celebrate all that makes Sheffield unique – people, sport, nature and stunning landscapes.
“When finished, the park will combine new facilities including the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre with existing sites like the Don Valley Bowl and the English Institute of Sport to create one large green park for leisure and exercise, with walking, running and cycling tracks throughout.
“We want to create an environment with as much opportunity as possible for a variety of outdoor recreation.”
Richard Caborn, project lead for the Olympic Legacy Park, said: “The Olympic Legacy Park will bring to life this part of Sheffield with a revolutionary and collaborative approach to health and wellbeing, combining academia and industry.
“Replicating the hugely successful Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) model, the partnerships created will produce a living laboratory linking physical activity, health and wellbeing research, professional and community sport and education.
“As a part of the Innovation District, which stretches across the Olympic Legacy Park and AMRC, this exciting project is already driving economic growth and jobs for the Sheffield City Region and will continue to put the region on the map as a model for best practice in innovation and collaboration.”
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is an important step in our vision to create a truly innovative home for sport, education and research at the Olympic Legacy Park. The creation of a top-class artificial pitch that will accommodate school, community and professional sports usage is certainly to be welcomed.
“The Olympic Legacy Park will ultimately help thousands of young people gain the skills to secure high-quality careers and will also raise the bar for sports participation for Sheffielders young and old. It’s great to reach another landmark on this important journey for our city.”
For more information visit www.olympiclegacypark.co.uk, follow @OLPSheffield on Twitter or search Olympic Legacy Park Facebook.