COUNCIL and university chiefs are to work with five-time Olympic gold-medallist Sir Steve Redgrave to make sure his proposed Redgrave Sports Science Institute comes to West Cheshire.
Senior officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester are to meet Sir Steve’s representatives to target potential sites given competitor towns are waiting in the wings.
At the end of the month Bell Developments will submit an application combining a student village and the Redgrave Institute on a controversial green belt site between Blacon and Mollington – and are confident their location is best.
Council chief executive Steve Robinson said: “We have made it clear from the outset that the council fully supports the proposal to establish this top class sports facility within the Cheshire West and Chester area.”
“While we have no pre-conceived ideas of any site for the institute officers will carry out a strategic review of suitable locations within the borough before meeting with Sir Steve’s representatives.”
Recently the chief executive dismissed rumours circulating in the community that the council supported a bid to locate the sports facility on the student village site.
However, the council has admitted there is ‘an agreement in principle’ for Redgrave to locate his associated rowing facilities at the Queen’s Park High School boat house site.
University vice chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler said: “Were the institute to be built, the university would provide support in terms of research, fitness monitoring and performance enhancement activities.”
A report on the Redgrave Institute will go to the council’s September executive meeting.
Dave Bell, of Bell Developments, said: “We are not going to stand in the council’s way if they want to go through the process we have already been through. It’s a bit late. They should have done it with us but they don’t want to lose Steve.
“Steve will have the ultimate say. I’m quite confident we have not wasted hundreds and hundreds of thousands and we are going ahead with the site I feel is the most appropriate.”