Page added on January 29, 2013
Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, visits Grace Road to see plans for a Community Sports Arena
Jon Ashworth will be visiting Leicestershire County Cricket Ground on Friday 1 February to look at the exciting new plans for a transformational Community Sports Arena on the site. This project is a partnership between the Leicester Riders Basketball Club, the County Cricket Club, and Leicester College.
The Arena will be largely focussed on mass participation sporting activities, primarily basketball and cricket. It will also be used for talent development of young boys and girls, as well as serving as the new home of the Leicester Riders. For events it will have seating for 2,000 spectators. Leicester College students will use the facilities for learning and training opportunities which will enhance both their course and enrichment activities.
Jon Ashworth said:
“It is important that I find out more about this project, especially as the Arena is much needed in Leicester City. I am encouraged that the Arena will focus on the community which will bring numerous benefits, including health improvements, jobs and regeneration.”
“I am aware the Riders already have an immense and hugely valued outreach community programme, working with many schools and colleges in the City, as well as Health, the Police, Sport England, and other partners. This project will greatly enhance this community programme.”
The Arena is a £2.5m project and is subject to a funding bid to Sport England.
Councillor Adam Clarke, who organised the meeting, said:
“The Arena is about so much more than sport. It will be a great asset for the community, and help tremendously in addressing the health challenges we face, as well as engaging with young people in the ward. It is important we do everything we can to smooth the path to making this important project a reality.”
Mike Siddall, Chief Executive of the Cricket Club, stated:
“We are greatly looking forward to showing Jon our plans and current facilities. For the Club, this Project is absolutely essential to our radical reshaping of our business, and we are delighted to be working with the Riders and Leicester College in such a close and positive way.”
Kevin Routledge, Director of the Riders, who will be hosting Jon Ashworth, commented:
“There has been much talk about the Olympic legacy, but can there be any greater legacy than this project, which addresses severe and acute needs for indoor sports provision in the City – a short fall that has been evident for 15 years. We are a City of champions in terms of results on the field; now we need to start to upgrade our facilities to measure up to that status.”
For Leicester College, Deputy Principal Don Brooks said:
“We are absolutely committed to improving the facilities we can provide our students, and this project has immense synergistic benefits. Working with two of our professional sports clubs will not only increase sporting opportunities for students, but also widen the outreach possibilities across a wide range of our curriculum. We are absolutely determined to do whatever the College can, to make this project a success.”