CHESTER could secure world class sporting facilities backed by an Olympic sportsman - but only if it accepts a student village in the green belt.
Bell Developments has unveiled plans for amenities supported by Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave on the same site as its planned 2,500-bed student village on land between Blacon and Mollington.
Bell has submitted a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council for the accommodation element with a decision expected in May.
Should the application be successful, the first phase of the Sir Steve Redgrave Institute could be completed in 2013 for use by students, the community and elite sports people.
Described as a ‘world-class, sports health and well-being complex’, it would comprise:
A state-of-the-art 8,000 -15,000 sq ft gym
A fully functional high performance suite
A sports injury clinic
Sports science educational facilities
Linked with the Blacon site would be a riverside base for a rowing academy allowing all ages and abilities to train there as well as up and coming stars of the future.
Sir Steve Redgrave said: “I am hugely excited by the prospect of the institute making Chester its home. I visited the city in December and saw the plans for the proposed locations.
“I believe there is a great ground-swell of support for my vision in Chester and I really hope that I can work with the city to create a sporting destination that provides the type of joined up thinking which is so important within sport.”
Mike Bell, of Bell Developments, said: “This is a huge opportunity for Chester. Building an institute such as this will see Chester become a sporting destination for aspiring athletes the world over. Chester is a perfect location in which to place it and we are looking forward to working with Sir Steve Redgrave, his management team at IMG and ABK to bring this exciting project to fruition.”