New sports centre to be built at Ravenscraig

The plans for a new regional sports centre, to be built at the site of the former Ravenscraig steelworks in Lanarkshire, have been given the go ahead.

Preparation work for the new £30 million project will begin on site in December and the facility is expected to open in May 2010.

Work can now commence following the decision by North Lanarkshire councillors to approve funding to cover a possible £2.4 million project shortfall, caused by site exploration and the rising cost of building materials.

The new complex will feature a nine-court sports hall, a full-size indoor football pitch, an athletics track, outdoor football and training pitches, two dance studios, as well as an outdoor activity area for children.

The International Children's Games, which are to be hosted by Lanarkshire in 2011, will use the newly completed sports centre as its main venue.

It is also hoped that the sports complex will be used as a training facility for the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games which are to be held in Glasgow.

Jim Fitzsimons, project director, told the Herald: "The new regional sports facility is an important part of the wider Ravenscraig development, and the decision by North Lanarkshire Council is a clear demonstration of its long-term commitment to the project."