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Belle Vue Sports Village starts to take shape

Construction of the GBP£10m Belle Vue Sports Village in Manchester, UK, due for completion in February 2016, is progressing well. The Stadium Grandstand is rising from the ground, as are the acoustic screens; the Basketball Hall is also taking shape; and the new 3G pitch has recently been completed with provision for both rugby and 5-a-side football for the local school, community and Leisure Centre.

Belle Vue Sports Village is a vibrant ‘access for all’ sports hub designed by AFL Architects, with major construction services company, ISG, the contractor.

The development has a strong emphasis on both community and educational uses that will not only provide life and vitality to the area but ensure its long-term sustainability.

The GBP£10m development will look to become a unique sporting hub for the area, adding to the world-class facilities that East Manchester is renowned; becoming the national home of Speedway and Basketball. A range of facilities have been created, including: modernisation of the existing Belle Vue Leisure Centre; a 6,000-seat National Speedway Stadium; National Speedway Academy; a 2,000-capacity National Basketball Performance Centre; and two 3G all-weather artificial grass pitches.

The Stadium will be the new home of the Belle Vue Aces Speedway team, with hospitality and exhibition areas. The new Academy will be a Centre of Excellence, nurturing the next generation of riders. These facilities have been integrated into the grandstand, complimenting each other and ensuring a dynamic environment that will operate every day of the year, not just on race days. The buildings have been designed to have the best facilities for riders, staff and spectators.

The new Sports Village is intended to be a catalyst for the wider social, economic and physical regeneration of this part of East Manchester.

Project Stats

The GBP£4.5m building costs for the new National Speedway Stadium will be initially funded by the city council. This loan will be repaid by Belle Vue Aces though an annual rent as part of the club’s lease agreement.
 
The purpose-built, 6,500-capacity speedway venue, with potential for additional temporary seating for larger events, could be the first of its kind in the country – able to host not only national race meets, but as one of the best tracks in Europe, will also compete with major speedway venues across the continent to host Grand Prix and World Cup events – which could attract up to 80,000 visitors each year to the city.
 
Belle Vue will also host a new National Speedway Academy, making Manchester a Centre of Excellence, encouraging grass roots development of new local speedway talent. In addition, the centre of the track will feature a new grass Rugby League pitch, for use by St Peter’s High School and the wider community.
 
The National Basketball Centre, part funded by England Basketball, will include an extension to an existing sports hall to create a four court training centre that will also be suitable for a variety of national and international competition and events. Although the focus will be basketball, the expanded hall will be available to the community for a variety of other sports.
Since the concept of a purpose-built speedway venue in Manchester was first proposed in 2007, it has generated ripples of curiosity around the world; but in particular, around the Manchester area.
The National Speedway Stadium, which will be the brand new home of the Belle Vue Aces, has continued to attract attention ever since, but never more so than this year, now it has ceased to be merely an artist’s impression.
On Sunday July 19, contractors ISG together with BVA, presented fans nationwide with the unique opportunity to experience the scale of the sport’s new home in Manchester for themselves. In the one-off open day, permission was granted for an area of the construction site to be made accessible to visitors and local residents so they could view the development from close quarters.
Basketball Hall

Images courtesy: AFL Architects/Manchester City Council

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