By Martin Walker
Ambitious plans to build a state-of-the-art indoor soccer arena in Newton Aycliffe have moved a step closer to reality.
Details of the £1.5m facility, to be housed on Aycliffe Business Park, were first revealed mid-way through last year, following the granting of planning consent.
There has been a delay in the programme due to difficulties in sourcing private investment funding.
But the project is now back on track and work is expected to start soon.
Dan Lewis, managing director of the Soccer Factory, explained: “We had a couple of local individuals who had agreed to provide the funding we required to open the facility. Unfortunately that didn’t materialise, and as such has set us back slightly.
“However, this delay has allowed us to build a stronger structure to the business, and to refine the business model to ensure the company is more sustainable moving forward.
“We now have funding agreed, and are working through the process of finalising the new private equity we require, which will hopefully mean we will be back on track to start the refurbishment of the property very soon.”
The Soccer Factory will provide seven 3g five-a-side courts, as well as a brand new health and fitness suite, multipurpose studio, café/ bar and sports injury clinic.
It promises to bring 15 new jobs to the town, and along with other leisure facilities on the Business Park ensure Aycliffe becomes a popular destination for people from the whole of the South West Durham area, as well as further afield.
Mr Lewis, who is also general manager of Ebac Northern League first division club Newton Aycliffe, added: “We’re really excited to be opening the first of our centres on Aycliffe Business Park.
“We think the combination of the second largest business park in the North-East, as well as the size of the town, coupled with the strong sports history in the area makes it an ideal location.
“We have worked very closely with some excellent companies on the Park already to provide some of the marketing materials, and look forward to welcoming the business community as well as the general community through the doors in the coming months and years.”
You can follow the progress of The Soccer factory on Twitter @ThSoccerFactory and Facebook www.facebook.com/TheSoccerFactoryLtd