Work On Springfield To Start In New Year

Work to redevelop Springfield to provide space for sports moved out of Fort Regent is due to begin by next March.

The Assistant Minister responsible for sport says new gym facilities will be open by July 2022.

Improvements are also planned to increase the stadium capacity, to enable Jersey Bulls to continue progressing through the English football league.

The grandstand - which opened in 1997 - has 992 seats.    

The Bulls are ending 2021 second in the league table in the Combined Counties Premier Division South.

They were eligible for promotion last season, but the league was abandoned and results voided because of the disruption caused by Covid-19.

The government has been giving an update on its 'Inspiring Active Places' (IAP) strategy, which it says is 'progressing at pace'.

It was unveiled in March, promising £100m would be invested in Jersey's sports facilities over the next 10 years.

"Following competitive, open tendering processes, the following professional advisory appointments have been made:

· Project Managers: Jersey-based company Colin Smith Partnership

· Cost Consultants: Gardiner and Theobald LLP

· Sport and Leisure consultants: Knight Kavanagh and Page (KKP)

The procurement of an Integrated Design Team (IDT), which will provide the Government with a single point of responsibility for all of the architectural and engineering design and assurance services required, is currently live with submissions closing later this month. An award of the IDT remains on-track for first quarter of 2022."

Plans to extend Oakfield Sports Centre were rejected in October, but have since been amended and resubmitted to go back before the Planning Committee for a decision in early 2022.

The intention is to move sports such as badminton, basketball, indoor cricket and netball to Oakfield.

Officials have previously assured clubs currently using Fort Regent that they won't be thrown out without having somewhere else to go.

There are ambitious plans to convert the Fort into a multi-use attraction.  A ten year plan was unveiled in the summer which includes winter and botanical gardens, playgrounds - and later -  a cinema, hotel, bowling alley and the island's first casino. 

The first projects under the IAP will be at Le Rocquier Sport and Wellbeing Hub - with the target of submitting a planning application before the end of 2022 - and a feasibility study for a 'Sport and Community Wellbeing Park' at FB fields.

The government says the study will consider how that site could be improved.

It has been in the spotlight following the long-running but ultimately unsuccessful attempts by former footballer James Scott to turn disused netball courts there into 5-a-side football pitches.

We're told 'detailed consultation' will begin in early January.

“The recent appointments to the IAP team demonstrate the Government’s commitment to deliver our plans to build new state-of-the-art sports and wellbeing hubs across the Island and to transform FB Fields into a space to benefit both the local community and sports teams.

“I am particularly pleased to see local consultants successful in winning work when competing against non-local organisations whose pedigree and experience are often stronger in the sport and leisure sector.

“The Government is making a considerable investment in sport and physical activity through the construction works at Oakfield and Springfield and further feasibility and design work for IAP in 2022. This is a major statement of intent towards delivering the priority of improving islanders mental and physical health” -  Deputy Hugh Raymond.

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