Re­vealed, town hall plan for £15m sports vil­lage

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By NEAL KEEL­ING neal.keel­[email protected] @Neal­keel­ingMEN

A VAST ‘sports vil­lage’ is planned for land neigh­bour­ing a coun­cil es­tate which is be­ing pulled down.

Sal­ford coun­cil has kept the pro­posal un­der wraps but the M.E.N. can re­veal a multi-mil­lion pound bid is be­ing pre­pared to Sports Eng­land for key fund­ing.

The new com­plex would be on a plot near High Street Es­tate, Pendleton, which bor­ders Lang­wor­thy.

It is pro­posed the Claren­don and Ord­sall cen­tres would close and be re­placed by the brand new fa­cil­ity cost­ing £15.3m.

The new cen­tre would in­clude a 12-court sports hall and 10-lane 25m pool.

Sources have told the M.E.N. the new cen­tre would in­clude astro­turf foot­ball pitches, a gym, and pos­si­bly a li­brary as well.

Some houses have al­ready been knocked down on the es­tate but the rest, which are empty, ex­cept for one fam­ily, are ear­marked for de­mo­li­tion.

The ma­jor­ity have not been lived in for more than a decade.

The es­tate was a flash­point dur­ing the ri­ots of Au­gust 2011 when crowds gath­ered at Sal­ford Precinct for an orgy of or­gan­ised, pre­ar­ranged trou­ble.

It was also the scene of a no­to­ri­ous shoot­ing at the now de­mol­ished Brass Han­dles pub in 2006 in which two young men hired to carry out a hit were shot dead with their own guns.

The bull­doz­ing of the 150 houses will cost the coun­cil £1.1m.

Three years ago the coun­cil agreed to the de­mo­li­tion of the homes on con­di­tion 52 ‘af­ford­able rented homes’ were pro­vided to ‘de­cant’ peo­ple into.

But since then the coun­cil has not re­leased any plans pub­licly for the fu­ture of the es­tate.

A bid of ap­prox­i­mately £6m is be­ing made to Sport Eng­land.

The new cen­tre would be run by Sal­ford Com­mu­nity Leisure, which al­ready man­ages pools and sports cen­tres across the bor­ough.

The nearby, age­ing, Claren­don Recre­ation Cen­tre, off Liver­pool Street would be de­mol­ished.

Other fund­ing sources are also be­ing sought by the coun­cil.

The coun­cil has re­fused to com­ment on the plans.

But af­ter be­ing con­tacted by the M.E.N. a memo was emailed to all coun­cil­lors.

It says: “Dear Coun­cil­lors, The City Coun­cil have en­gaged consultant­s, Strate­gic Leisure, to un­der­take a piece of work lead­ing to the sub­mis­sion for grant fund­ing to Sport Eng­land in April/May next year.

“Strate­gic Leisure may well con­tact you as part of the lo­cal con­sul­ta­tion that is re­quired as part of this process for Sport Eng­land. This work will also in­form the fi­nal de­sign brief.”

It is un­der­stood a de­tailed de­sign for the new cen­tre is near com­ple­tion.

One fam­ily, the Wil­sons, re­main on the High Street Es­tate. They have been in dis­pute with the coun­cil for nearly 10 years and have re­fused to move from their home in Hol­combe Close.

Two years ago the M.E.N. re­ported Sal­ford’s sports cen­tres were to be re­placed or re­fur­bished at a cost of £35m – in a bid to save lives.

The im­prove­ment pro­gramme will taken 10 years to com­plete as it is re­liant on coun­cil and Sport Eng­land fund­ing.

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