By Martin Walker
Newton Aycliffe firm Finley Structures has started work on Middlesbrough’s Sports Village.
The £18 million state-of-the-art development at Prissick will include a new athletics track, fitness gym, multi-functional sport and performance spaces and external flood-lit pitches.
Finley Structures has started work on erecting 500 tonnes of steel for the project.
A new access road feeding the site from Ladgate Lane and the car park for The James Cook University Hospital is also part of these works.
The existing cycling circuit, clubhouse cabins and skate plaza facilities will be maintained throughout the construction process, as well as access to Tennis World.
This enabled the further enhancement of the Sports Village through the inclusion of the arena court and additional training facilities within the Sports Hub building.
Willmott Dixon is the main contractor for the construction on behalf of Middlesbrough Council.
The new athletics track and temporary changing will complete in October 2014, with the new Sports Hub building, associated external sports facilities and sports car parking opening in April, 2015.
Former England, Middlesbrough and Leeds United footballer Alan Peacock joined Middlesbrough Maor Ray Mallon for a turf-cutting ceremony.
Peacock said: “It’s a great honour to be asked to break the ground on what looks to be a fantastic development for the town.
“Middlesbrough has a great tradition of producing great athletes – some of whom we’ve just seen at the Commonwealth Games – and the Sports Village will provide the best facilities to make sure that continues for generations to come.”