The new LNER Community Stadium complex in York has finally been completed after a series of delays.
With the final safety checks complete, York City Council and operators GLL will formally take control of the site from the building contractors on Friday 18 December.
The council and GLL are now working with partners to make sure residents benefit from the many sports, services and facilities it will host as soon as possible.
These include: an 8,500-seater stadium for York City Football Cub and York City Knights rugby league club; a community hub, including a library and community offices for York’s sports clubs; York Against Cancer shop and offices; NHS outpatient services; new swimming facilities; and a gym, dance studio and sports hall with spectator seating.
The ground’s opening had been hit by several delays and was due to open in July. The development was first proposed in 2009.
Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said:
The new stadium and wider complex will provide excellent facilities for sports fans and local residents alike. There is no doubt that it will be an incredible home for both York City Football Club and York City Knights, and an important destination for the wider city.
With a new leisure centre, pool, library and NHS Services, the complex is providing a timely and very welcome boost to the whole city.
These are strange and difficult times to open new buildings and services, but we are working with every partner to make sure residents can enjoy them safely, and as soon as possible.
Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said:
It is fantastic news that the players, staff and now fans will be enjoying their new home very soon. I can’t wait to see games played on this pitch.
The fact we can now host world cup rugby league next Autumn shows what a game-changer this is for York. More importantly, we now have a stadium which can provide a platform for York City Football Club and the Knights to deliver on their serious ambitions.
A spokesperson for York City FC said:
This is really positive news. After a long wait, we’re now very close to moving into our new home. We’re aware that there are some final checks and approvals which need to be completed before we can take to the pitch but we’re looking forward to our first match at the LNER Community Stadium.
Image: York City Knights