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.
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.