WORK will start next spring on York's Community Stadium - including a brand new swimming pool - the city council has announced.
A brand new 8,000 seater stadium, swimming pool to replace Waterworld, gym, and community hub will be built on the site of Huntington stadium.
GLL - the company currently in charge of Waterworld and the on site gym - will head up the consortium building and operating the site, and will take on the running of the council's leisure centres at Yearsley Baths and Energise.
Building will start in spring 2015, and the site is due to open in summer 2016.
As well as a new swimming pool complex with a six lane 25 metre pool, a teaching pool and a leisure pool, the site will house five-a-side pitches, an Explore library, NHS services, York St John University's Institute of Community Sport and Wellbeing, and an independent living assessment centre.
Tim Atkins, the council's Community Stadium Project Manager, has hailed the new scheme as a sports facility of regional significance while GLL's Chris Symons said the company was delighted to be involved in the "groundbreaking" project.
Social enterprise GLL already runs 140 leisure centres in England and Wales, he added, meaning the firm has the "operational skills and community focus" to make York's new site a success, he added.
Mr Symons said: “Our focus at GLL is to help more people, get more active, more often, and the inclusion of partners such as York City FC, NHS Hospital Trust, Library services, and York St John, allows us to develop world class facilities that will thrive at the heart of the city.”
Council leader James Alexander added: "The commercial element provides the vast majority of the funding for the extensive community facilities. We are creating a leading family leisure destination in the North of England and are doing so with minimal impact to the public purse by leveraging £5 of commercial investment for every £1 of council spend."
Among the sports and community facilities will be new retail space - which council cabinet member Cllr Sonja Crisp said would be either one or a number of sports and leisure outlets in total around the size of the Next store on the nearby Vangarde site.
The council will put forward a total £8 million of the £37 million budget - £2 million already committed to the replacement athletics track and £2 million to the stadium, and an extra £4 million of council funding to come from prudential borrowing, subjct to approval by councillors, Cllr Alexander added.
The announcement came after an 18 month long procurement process, which had prompted fears of delays for the project.
Mr Atkins said that having worked on the scheme for a long time, he can understand the frustration of fans who thought they might never see the long awaited stadium.
"It's fantastic we now have something to show people," he added.
The 18 month search for a joint design, build and operation contract has been chosen to protect the council tax payer from risk and to ensure all the companies involved communicate properly, Cllr Alexander added.
York City FC's communications and community director Sophie Hicks has said the club was delighted to see the project progressing.
"We are extremely pleased that the capacity is now proposed to be 8,000, as this really helps our footballing aspirations.
"There's been a lot of hard work behind the scenes with the football club and the city council, and we look forward to moving into a fantastic first class facility in July 2016."
A paper with details of the project will go before councillors in the coming weeks, and a new full planning application is expected to be submitted in November or December this year.
Both Waterworld and the stadium will close at Christmas, for work - beginning with a community archaeological dig - to start in the New Year, and the athletics track at Heslington West built as a replacement to the current Huntington track - is scheduled to open in October or November.