Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Olympic Legacy Park: Community park officially opens

Olympic Legacy Park
Image caption The 35-acre complex, in Attercliffe, is built where the Don Valley Stadium once stood

A community park built on the former Don Valley Stadium site where heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill trained in Sheffield has officially opened.

The Olympic Legacy Park's green space offers 3G sports pitches, a 100m track, gardens and two running routes.

The 35-acre complex in Attercliffe will include a 2,500-seat arena, the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and facilities for rugby and gymnastics.

About 3,000 people will use or work at the park each day when fully open.

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Some educational facilities buildings at the site have already opened, including UTC Sheffield's Olympic Legacy Park campus and Oasis Academy Don Valley.

The park is a joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council.

Image caption The Olympic Legacy Park was officially opened by former Sports Minister Richard Caborn

Don Valley Stadium, where Olympic Heptathlon gold and silver medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill trained from a young age, was demolished in 2013 as part of cost-saving measures by the council.

Former Sheffield Central MP and Sports Minister Richard Caborn, project lead at the park, said the site came at no cost to the local taxpayer, with millions of pounds of funding coming from external sources.

He said: "Today is the first opening of the park, which is there for everybody to use.

"It's a park living 24/7 with elite athletes, commercial activities, but at the heart of it will be the community, which I think is very important."

Work on building the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, said to be the "centrepiece" of the park, will start in early 2018.

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