Big step forward for Melton Sports Village project
Melton Council has voted unanimously to push ahead with the Melton Sports Village project. Next stage is to find a commercial partner to design, build, operate and maintain the new facility.
The main features of its ‘leisure vision’ are a 500-seater stadium with 3G artificial pitch for football and rugby and a new indoor eight court sports hall. The FA and RFU are already on board and there is the option to increase the seating capacity to 1,000.
The plans for the 30-acre Burton Road site also include a new clubhouse, training pitches, trim trail with outdoor exercise stations, playground and refurbished tennis courts, while the existing sports hall on the site could become a home for extreme sports with a skatepark and climbing wall.
An extraordinary meeting of the full council heard sport contributes £12.5m to the local economy each year, directly employs 340 people in the borough and also has huge ‘social benefit’ potential in terms of well-being and health savings. There is also plenty of evidence that good leisure facilities help to increase footfall in the High Street and reduce anti-social behaviour, too.
The council says it will now test the market and seek a commercial partner and has been keen to stress there must be no ongoing cost to the local taxpayer. In fact, it would like to see Melton Sports Village actually produce an income for the authority. It is hoped its location to the south of the town could also draw people from Rutland to use its facilities.
As your Local Sports Alliance representative I’d urge local clubs, coaches, instructors and players to take a keen interest in the sports village project. It’s essential we have a facility which is fit for purpose and future-proofed for the next generation and their children.
A lot of groundwork has been done with Melton Council taking on responsibility from the county council for the site, SLM/Everyone Active now operating the current facilities there and Melton Mowbray FC poised to move to their new home at Burton Road, so let’s keep it going!