York City Knights received a huge boost off the field today as York Council announced that work to build York’s new community stadium should begin in October when contractors will move onto the site in Monks Cross.
The main construction phase is expected to take 16 months.
The indicative build timeline is included in a report being considered by councillors at a special meeting of the Executive next week (Thursday 27th July).
They are being presented with an update on the progress of the project.
A new commercial development on the stadium site will feature a Cineworld cinema complex, including an IMAX screen, five restaurants and up to three retail units.
There will also be new leisure facilities incorporating a swimming pool, gym, dance studio, indoor and outdoor climbing facilities and a sports hall with spectator seating.
NHS outpatient services will be offered on-site from a community hub, subject to board approval, and there will be a new library and a York Against Cancer retail unit.
The 8,000 capacity all-seater stadium will be home to York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Club – supporting their long-term viability.
It will also enable the clubs to continue and enhance the success of their current community coaching and engagement programmes.
The new stadium, leisure facilities and the community hub will all open in 2019 along with the new cinema and commercial units.
Jon Flatman, York City Knights RFLC owner, said: “This is a positive step change for rugby league in York and North Yorkshire. A community stadium will continue the growth of the sport for the professional club, community clubs, universities, colleges and schools.
“We will work hard to bring the 2021 World Cup to York and I look forward to each and every player, volunteer, supporter and coach in the district engaging and benefiting from the investment.”
Councillor David Carr, leader of City of York Council, added: “I’m delighted that with our valued partners in this major project, we are taking the next step forward.
“The stadium will be an important facility to the city and its communities, especially in terms of health and wellbeing, education and leisure.
“We will continue to work with the clubs, developer and organisations involved to make it successful and economically sustainable asset.”
Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive councillor with responsibility for the stadium, said: “The community stadium project is about to take a major step forward with building work starting in just a few months.
“Since the last major update there have been several issues to contend with, not least a general election, worries about the impact of Brexit and a failed legal challenge.
“Despite this, we’ve continued to make steady progress and now we have a good idea of how long it will take to complete the build.
“The community stadium will benefit the whole of York with enhanced facilities, and we’ve been able to safeguard the future of Yearsley Pool too.”
Jason McGill, York City FC chairman, said: “This is exciting news for York City supporters and the city’s sporting future.
“I am extremely grateful to the city council, and other associated parties, for their hard work and patience in moving this matter forward.
“If things go according to plan, York City supporters will be watching their team at a new 8,000 capacity stadium by the start of the 2019/2020 season.”
Chris Symons, director of development for GLL, said: “GLL have always remained committed to the York Community Stadium Project and we are looking forward to getting the building works underway.
“The plans for the new stadium, leisure centre and community hub, are truly ground-breaking and represent a unique scheme that is sure to become a flagship project regionally as well as nationally.
“As a charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure centre operator, GLL currently operates more than 250 public sport and leisure centres across the UK.
“Our 24 years of experience, coupled with our status as a ‘not for profit’, means that we have both the operational skills and community focus to enable us to successfully operate these high quality facilities for the benefit of the entire community.
“Our focus at GLL is to help more people, get more active, more often, and the inclusion of partners such as the NHS, York City FC, York City Knights, York Against Cancer and Library services, allows us to develop world class facilities that will thrive at the heart of the city.
“Not just for sport and activity, but for health and education too – reaching more families and young people than before.”