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Scunthorpe picks sports academy designer - images

Andrew Wright Associates has won the contest to design a new £13 million sports academy as part of the revamp of Scunthorpe's Central Park.

The practice, which collaborated on its competition-winning scheme with landscape architect Grant Associates, saw off five other shortlisted teams to land the project in North Lincolnshire.

The losing finalists in the RIBA-organised contest were de Rijke Marsh Morgan; Jestico & Whiles with Barker and Coutts; DLA Architecture with Urban Design; DSP Architects with the Landscape Agency; and Hot Architecture with Planit EDC.

The victorious design for the academy features six 'pods' which will house an eight lane, 25m swimming pool, a learner pool, a six court sports hall as well as a fitness suite, dance studio, crèche and climbing column.

A further £2 million will be spent on overhauling the surrounding parkland - 27ha of ancient woodland, formal public parkland and sports facilities.

Describing the judging process, North Lincolnshire Council leader Liz Redfern said the winning scheme provided the 'perfect answer' to the authority's regeneration aims.

'We could have taken the safe route and chosen a traditional design, but we must be bold and ambitious,' she said. 'The chosen design reflects our aspirations for the future of Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire.

'The design represents the people's choice, as well as being the unanimous choice of the selection panel.'

A decision about whether regional development agency Yorkshire Forward has been successful in its bid for funding is expected to be made in December.

The contest originally attracted 45 expressions of interest. ( Shortlist for Scunthorpe revealed)

by Richard Waite

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