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Venue switch gets York Athletic Club up and running
A 500-seater stand, a pavilion and a 25-year agreement, is what City of York Athletic Club have been promised after agreeing to move to the Heslington Sports Centre.
Club chairman Neil Hunter declared himself thrilled with the new arrangements – announced after City of York Council chiefs revealed the organisation’s new home would be at the University of York centre rather than at the £10 million York Sport Village.
The authority said the decision was taken after feasibility studies indicated the possibility of rising costs and added that the change of venue would bring significant savings.
Coun Sonja Crisp, the authority’s leisure chief, said of the move: “There will be a higher specification of running track than we would be able to build at East (campus).
“A prioritised field athletics area within the centre of the track is also now possible.
“A dedicated athletics clubhouse will be included and a new sand-based football/hockey pitch will be placed next to the site to replace the existing pitch.
“The West site will support the long-term success of the athletics club and excellent community access, not only to the track but the full suite of facilities at the site.
“The Sport Village is an incredibly strong offer and the athletics track being based at West campus will be a further boost for sports in York.”
That has delighted Hunter, who said planning could now begin to increase the numbers who competed at the club ahead of the expected move at the end of next year.
“We have access to the track five nights a week for two hours and we’ll have at least ten weekends a year for our competitions,” he said.
“We’ve got a 25-year agreement. It was going to be five years when we first kicked off with this and my worry was we might get turfed out after that time.
“Now a 25-year agreement is there and we will have a 500-seater stand and a pavilion of 100 square metres.
“We’ve got an agreement on hire charges.
“It is financially sustainable and there is no need to increase any fees. It is everything we thought we were going to get.”
Hunter is now hoping he can forge links with university athletics chiefs to increase the numbers who take part in competitions and engage students in athletics.
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