The construction phase of a new £4.8 million community sports arena which will be home to the Leicester Riders has begun today.
The Leicester Community Sports Arena project has entered its second phase of construction after the completion of the site’s decontamination works. The sports arena project is being built by three partners, Leicester City Council, Leicester Riders and Leicester College. The contractor VHE formally hands over the site to B&E Boys this week, coinciding with the completion of the remediation; B&E Boys will be responsible for the building of the Arena.
The Arena will be accommodating for a number of sports and will have a multitude of uses. The sports arena will become a regional basketball centre of excellence and home to the Leicester Riders and Leicester Cobras Wheelchair Basketball Club. It will also be used as new a teaching facility for Leicester College, which Verity Hancock, principal of Leicester College, explains they have been in need of for a long time.
“This is something that we have been waiting for at Leicester College, not just a few years but many years, we’ve been searching for the solution to our sports facilities, which were getting older and older and less appropriate”
The venue will be widely accessible for use by the local community and there will be opportunities for the community to participate in structured community sports. Kevin Routledge, the director of Leicester Riders, believes that the sport arena will be a “real community facility.” The Arena will be in operation through a not-for-profit basis. Any surpluses will be re-invested into the Arena, or will be put towards community outreach programmes in deprived local communities.
The cost of the project is set to be £4.8 million, which included the remediation of the site at Charter Street, as well as the provision of car parking and landscaping. The building of the sports arena, is planned to be completed and opened by the end of December 2015. Rob Paternostro, Leicester Riders head coach, believes it will be a “special time for the city of Leicester, for the Riders and also for basketball in this country”
“Its going to be incredible to have our own home, and to be right in the city its going to be great”.