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Sheffield's Olympic Legacy Park

Credit: Whittam Cox Architects

The unique Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is situated on a 70 acre site that was commissioned to carry a tangible legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games through sports, education and research facilities, built on the footprint of Don Valley Stadium in Attercliffe.
The construction of Don Valley Stadium was completed in 1990 and was the second largest athletics stadium in the UK. The venue was mainly used for sporting events, with excellent facilities such as a full sized running track, football pitch and spectator seating accommodating up to 25,000 people. The running track was home to one of the most successful athletes to come from Sheffield, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Jessica used the stadium since she was 11 to practice athletics and in more recent years, trained for the London 2012 Olympics, where she won a gold medal. Due to financial difficulties, the stadium was closed in 2013 as part of a £50 million budget cutting scheme. The building was demolished in November 2013 and the decision was made the following year to repurpose the site as the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a development with a 15 year plan and was officially opened in 2018. The project is backed by major stakeholders in the city such as Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and NHS Trusts. Scarborough International Properties Limited have also been named as the preferred developer on the project.
On the site is the Oasis Academy, a public school providing primary and secondary education to the local community. There is also the University Technical College which offers technical specialism, GCSE and A-level education to 13-19 year olds.
Sheffield Hallam University also have a facility in the park called the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC),
that was created from £900k of government funding and is a world renowned centre for research into physical activity. The building hosts a range of specialist facilities, laboratories, incubators and clinical research. As well as the AWRC, in the coming years, there are plans for additional centres that focus on Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Research, Child Health Technology and Sports and Exercise Medicine. The Child Health Technology Centre in particular, if approved, is projected to cost £20m and is proposed to focus their research on long term conditions with aims to prevent deaths in children, support healthy early life behaviours and reduce unnecessary hospital appointments so children with long term conditions can attend school regularly.
Construction is due to start in December 2019 on a Community Stadium, a project lead by Scarborough International Properties Limited. GMI Construction will also take lead on the project along with Whittam Cox Architects, Arup, Ares Landscape Architects, Burnley Wilson Fish and Zerum. The stadium will bring yet another great sports facility to the park and will be home to the Sheffield United Womens Football Club and Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Club. In addition to being a sports venue with a capacity of almost 4,000 people, the stadium will also incorporate 4,000 sq.m. of mixed use office and commercial space. Existing sports amenities include a 100m track, running and cycle routes, cricket pitches, 3G pitch and open green spaces. Within the boundaries of the Olympic Park, are the pre-existing iceSheffield, English Institute of Sport and Don Valley Grass Bowl.
This unique facility has already brought a lot of positivity to the area of Attercliffe and will no doubt continue to do so as the development expands. Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park will increase economic growth and offer access to local amenities, health and wellbeing opportunities and employment for the local community.