Work set to start on £5.8m ‘sports village’ development

Work on a “Sports Village” that will be home to local football, cycling and rugby clubs is finally due to begin next week.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 8:00 am

The Wyke Sports Village will be built on the former Wyke Manor School site, and one new facility at the site will be a cycle track to replace the one lost with the closure of the Richard Dunn Sports Centre in 2019.

The £5.8 million sports facility has been in the planning stages for years, and at one point required a total redesign after a former school sports hall that would have been part of the development was badly damaged in a huge fire.

Despite plans for the site having been approved almost five years ago, there had been little recent progress on the plans until earlier this year, when it was announced that contractors William Birch & Sons Ltd had been selected.

Wyke sports village

Work will finally begin on the site on Monday.

Wyke Community Sports Village is the first of the Bradford District’s three “multi-sports hubs” to be delivered as part of the Council’s Sports Pitches Investment Programme in partnership with Sport England, British Cycling and the Football Foundation.

The other two hubs that will follow will be based at Myra Shay sports grounds off Barkerend Road and Marley Playing Fields, just outside Keighley.

The Wyke development will bring a new home for local sports clubs including football and rugby league teams, was well as local cycling clubs – some of which have been without a base since the closure of Richard Dunn.

The facility will include a new all-weather football pitch, three improved grass pitches, a community and changing pavilion with a close loop cycle track and cyclo-cross facilities.

Plans for the Wyke site were first approved in 2016, and initially would have included the refurbishment of a sports hall building that was retained after the demolition of Wyke Manor School.

However, flames ripped through the hall during a fierce blaze in June 2017 and, after a number of surveys, Bradford Council deemed the building too dangerous to remain standing.

It meant the plans had to go back to the drawing board, and be re-designed without the large sports hall and a number of indoor facilities.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We are thrilled that work is now starting to progress on the construction of Wyke Community Sports Village.

“We have worked closely with a number of partners on this project to get it to this stage with the full support of ward councillors.

“This will be a great facility for the people of south Bradford and the whole district.

“We are committed to providing improved places to be active and play sport across the district.”

Gemma Shahjahan, Director at William Birch & Sons Ltd said, “We are really looking forward to working on this project and developing such a great community sports resource that will bring clear benefits to the local community.

“Our team’s expertise in the sports and leisure sector, coupled with local recruitment and engagement with local businesses will bring wider benefits to the city of Bradford and its people.”