Plans to create a sports village in Bicester are continuing to move forward with work now underway to prepare the second phase of the project.
At a meeting of Cherwell District Council’s executive on Monday (7 July), councillors received an update on progress to deliver sports facilities in south west Bicester.
Members heard the first phase of the project, to construct grass pitches, a cycle/jogging track and landscaping were on course to be completed in November 2014, ahead of construction work beginning on the pavilion and car park for phase two early next year.
Cllr George Reynolds, deputy leader, said:
We are on target to complete the construction for phase one in November but have already began the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work for phase two in anticipation of work starting early next year. This includes design work and preparations to submit a follow-up planning application providing more details of what is proposed for the site.
The provision of the sports village is incredibly important to meet the needs of Bicester’s growing population and so it is great to hear work remains on schedule to enable phases one and two to both become operational in September 2015.
Plans for the sports village were first approved in 2011. Since then work has been undertaken to deliver the first phase of the project. A second application, outlining plans for the pavilion and car park, is due to be submitted in September and if approved, work will commence on this stage of the project in January 2015.
During the meeting councillors heard that officers are continuing to seek funding for the third phase of the project, which will now be delivered in two stages. The first will involve the provision of a 3G synthetic pitch and tennis courts while the second stage of phase three is expected to provide an athletics facility and multi-use games area.
Cllr Reynolds said:
We are looking at ways to secure funding for phase three so that the whole project can be completed. There are opportunities to secure some funds for the 3G pitch so we will look to deliver that first and continue to deliver the remainder of the facilities as and when the funding becomes available.
Details on the third phase of the project will only be confirmed once the second phase is under way, though work continues to secure funding through grants and sponsorship.
The contract to design and build the facility was awarded to Morgan Sindall, which is also building the Council’s new £5m community centre on the estate. A council report said officers would seek £2.35m funding for phase three – athletics facilities, astroturf pitch and tennis courts.