Decontamination work starts at new Leicester Riders basketball arena
Work is set to begin on the decontamination of a former gas works which will be the site of a new basketball arena in Leicester.
The £4.5m Leicester Community Sports Arena on Charter Street will be the new home of the Leicester Riders.
The Environment Agency approved plans for the clean-up in December and work on the site will begin on Monday.
The team's director Kevin Routledge said the 2,000-seat arena should be completed by the end of the year.
"The decontamination work will take about eight weeks and will be completed by a specialist contractor, but we hope to start the foundation work in early March," he said.
"Working on brown field sites involves a number of agencies, particularly as we are located on the Grand Union Canal, and the most thorough examination of all options have been considered."
The Riders are currently fourth in the British Basketball League and have won the BBL Cup for the past two years.
The arena, which will also have a fitness suite, classrooms, offices, bar and café, is backed by the Riders as well as Leicester City Council and Leicester College.
It will also be home to the Leicester Cobras Wheelchair Basketball Team and a multi-use sports venue for the college and the community.
Parking for events at the arena will be provided on site and several other nearby locations, including the college.
The Riders currently play their homes games at De Montfort University.