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Campaigners fail to halt Don Valley Stadium demolition

A group of campaigners has failed in a last ditch bid to save Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium from demolition

Despite being presented with a petition of more than 5,900 names and an application by campaign group Save Don Valley to list the arena as a community asset, the council has decided to press ahead with plans to flatten the ‘iconic Sheffield landmark’.

Demolition teams moved in at the end of last week, and it is expected to take six months to raze the 25,000-seat sports venue to the ground.

The stadium designed by Sheffield City Architects was understood to be costing the council £700,000-a-year to run and before demolition began, had a £1.6 million repair bill.

The council – which is facing a £50 million cut to its budget – said it could no longer afford to maintain the World Student Games 1991 showpiece and in September the stadium closed its doors.  

The council has refurbished and reopened the nearby, smaller, Woodburn Road Athletics Stadium to replace Don Valley as the city’s main athletics venue.

Back in March, Bond Bryan revealed plans for a £40 million replacement for the stadium site, which is set to be turned into an ‘advanced park for sports and wellbeing’.

The Sheffield-based practice has created the project’s initial visualisations and is working on a feasibility study for the 100,000m² campus scheme which is backed by Sheffield City Council, the city’s two universities, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Sport England.

Featuring a white tensile roof supported by yellow-painted tubular steel, the venue opened in 1991 as the centrepiece of the Steel City’s £147 million World Student Games Development. Other games venues included the Ponds Forge Swimming Pool and Sheffield Arena.

Previous story (07.08.13)

Last chance for Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium

A group of campaigners has submitted an application to have Don Valley Stadium listed as a community asset in a bid to save it from demolition

The group, named Save Don Valley, has launched a last ditch attempt to save the 25,000-seat sports venue designed by Sheffield City Council Architects, citing its cultural and historical importance as reasons for why it should stay open.

If approved, the group would be granted six months to put together a bid to purchase the stadium.

Under current plans the 23-year-old stadium, which will close at the end of September, is to be demolished. The council – which is facing a £50 million cut to its budget – said it could no longer afford to maintain the World Student Games 1991 showpiece which costs £700,000-a-year to run and has a £1.6 million repair bill.

Back in March, Bond Bryan revealed plans drawn up for a £40 million replacement to the stadium.

The council is currently inviting expressions of interest for the Don Valley site, which will be transformed into an ‘advanced park for sports and wellbeing’, including education and sports facilities, sports science and technology accommodation, and commercial elements.

Sports Minister and Sheffield MP Richard Caborn said: ‘We are looking for expressions of interest in the site from developers or partners seeking to build on the ideas which have emerged locally and attracted a considerable amount of interest.

‘The aim is to have partners on board by October to enable delivery. This is an economic wealth generation project which would take the Don Valley Stadium site from being underutilised to becoming an economic driver for the Sheffield City Region, capable of providing comprehensive delivery of the Olympic legacy.’

Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, added: ‘We expect to see strong interest in redeveloping the site, and some strong proposals that will help us to achieve a quality transformation of this strategic sporting site over the coming years’.

Featuring a white tensile roof supported by yellow-painted tubular steel, the landmark venue opened in 1991 as the centrepiece of the Steel City’s £147 million World Student Games development.

The city council has 8 weeks to reply to the campaign group’s application.

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