Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland officially handed over Derby Arena to Derby City Council on Thursday 23 October. The project was completed two months ahead of schedule. The handover marks the end of the construction phase.
The early handover ensures that preparations remain on track for the Arena to open in the new year. Throughout the autumn the Council will be busy recruiting and training staff and management for the state-of-the-art facility as well as completing the essential piloting and testing of the Arena – from running mock activities to test equipment to running fire and emergency evacuation drills.
Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council, said:
Derby Arena is a very exciting development for Derby and we all watch its progress with excitement, this showcases our commitment to making Derby a city to be proud of and I want people to be proud of living here and for visitors to be excited about coming to Derby. The early handover of the building keeping us on track for opening in early 2015 is a great achievement and my congratulations go to all involved.
Bowmer & Kirkland Director, John Kirkland, said:
This truly has been a unique project for us all to be involved with and I am exceptionally proud of our staff who have delivered this iconic building for the people of Derby and the East Midlands in such a short space of time. We only started construction on the Arena in March 2013 and it has been a tremendous team effort by all concerned to get where we are today – handing over early and within budget.
This building is a landmark for the city and we feel privileged to have been involved in its creation.
Councillor Alison Martin, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture (pictured at the front on the bike with the blue jacket) added:
I would like to thank Bowmer & Kirkland’s staff and contractors who have worked very hard with us to build and craft what is one of the most stunning sporting venues in the country, ahead of time and on budget. We are bringing our Olympic Legacy to life and providing Derby people with something that is quite special to Derby and unique in the region.
The futuristic 14,500m2 (156,000 sq ft) Arena houses only the fifth national standards 250m indoor cycling track in the country. It will host other sports as well as being a 5,000-capacity events venue. The track infield – which is the size of 12 badminton courts – will host other sports including badminton, basketball, netball, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, martial arts, table tennis and trampolining. There will also be a 150-station gym, as well as group exercise studios, a cafe/bar and hospitality.
Bowmer & Kirkland will retain a presence at the Derby Arena for the next month, working with the Council to help with the training, testing and preparations for opening of the Arena in early 2015.
Photo: Handover celebrations at Derby Arena. The trolls are from the BFG – a production taking place in the arena next year. Courtesy Derby City Council.