Date issued: 19 October 2020
The opening of the new Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park has been postponed until Easter 2021 by Colchester Borough Council, amidst continuing Covid-19 uncertainty.
The delay will help ensure that the Northern Gateway Sports Park, which was on track to open by January 2021, can open safely to residents and visitors and help shape healthy, active lifestyles.
Cllr Theresa Higgins, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said: “We cannot wait to welcome each and every one of you to the Northern Gateway Sports Park, but we don’t want the opening of Colchester’s newest attraction overshadowed by the risk of Covid-19.
“Though all council facilities are Covid-secure, we have taken the decision, with a heavy heart, to reschedule the opening until Easter 2021, in the hope that the worse of this terrible pandemic will have passed.”
The new facility is unique in Essex in featuring a one-mile floodlit cycle track consisting of six loops. The track, with provisions for cycling for people with disabilities and also for those with special needs, will provide leisurely cyclists a safe space to ride their bikes, whilst providing serious cyclists with a facility to challenge themselves and to improve.
The 76-acre site, located off junction 28 of the A12, also features a multi-use sports centre, indoor cricket, a fitness suite, exercise and cycle studios, and a new state-of-the-art rugby facility that will become the new home of Colchester Rugby Football Club, two all-weather pitches, additional grass pitches, an archery range for local clubs to enjoy, a café and meeting rooms.
The facility will also incorporate green open spaces for families and future generations to enjoy at their leisure. The area will benefit from the initial planting of over 500 native and ornamental trees, almost 87,000 native saplings and 31,000 shrubs, perennials, grasses and wild meadow species.
The £28.7 million development is part of a wider sport and leisure development, all being project managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd.
The Sports Park received funding from multiple partners, including £590,000 from British Cycling and £100,000 from England and Wales Cricket Club.
Anyone interested in finding out more about hiring the new sport facilities, which will be managed by the council, can complete an expression of interest form by visiting colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/northerngatewaysportspark.