ISG has commenced work on a circa £11 million project to create a new National Speedway Stadium and National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester. Procured through North West Construction Hub (NWCH), the Belle Vue Sports Village development is set to transform this strategic area of East Manchester and bolster the international sporting credentials of the city.
The scheme delivers high-specification leisure facilities for both community and elite users, including the partial refurbishment of the existing leisure centre on site and the provision of two new floodlit 3G artificial grass sports pitches. The 6,000 capacity speedway stadium will become the home of the historic Belle Vue Aces team and features a 1,842 seat grandstand, including 208 VIP seats. The new National Basketball Performance Centre boasts a 2,000 seat match court and will be the hub for England Basketball’s national teams.
The National Speedway Stadium brings international standard facilities to the North West. The new grandstand features a first floor hospitality area, with function rooms, a bar area and VIP suite overlooking the 343m long track. A ground floor concourse provides additional catering facilities. ISG will construct a large pit area for riders and a maintenance yard for the secure storage of plant and equipment. The track itself is designed to speedway industry FIM specification with up to 17m wide bends tapering to a 13m wide straight.
Within the centre of the speedway track, ISG will form a 3G artificial grass pitch, constructed to IRB 22 standards for the use of nearby St Peter’s RC High School and the local community. A larger 3G artificial grass pitch will also be constructed on the Sports Village site for wider community use and as a hub for community Rugby League. To minimise the impact of the new stadium, which is adjacent to the current home of the Belle Vue Aces, ISG will erect 4m high acoustic screening to the south side of the development.
Linked to the existing leisure centre, the new National Basketball Performance Centre will be home to community basketball leagues and clubs, as well as national performance teams. The facility will be housed in a new-build steel frame structure, with modern composite cladding panels to its façade. Constructed to international FIBA level 1 standards, the facility includes three courts with timber sprung flooring. Perimeter bleacher seating provides a 2,000 seat capacity for the number one centre court on match days.
The Belle Vue Leisure Centre will be upgraded and remains operational throughout the duration of the project. At ground floor level, ISG will upgrade the changing facilities to provide modern amenities for the National Basketball Performance Centre. Offices will be created at first floor level for England Basketball’s use and the existing sports hall will be refurbished.
Cllr Jeff Smith, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “After months of planning it’s always a thrill to visit a project at the beginning of construction – especially when it’s as significant a development as this. To welcome two national centres to Manchester at one site is remarkable.
“East Manchester is already an internationally recognised destination for sport and leisure, and Belle Vue Sports Village will only add to that excellent reputation. But it will also stand out on its own and help to transform this part of the city.”
Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, added: “This highly-anticipated development marks a major investment by the council into outstanding new sporting facilities in East Manchester. Procured through NWCH, the scheme is rooted in the principles of maximising efficiencies and driving out waste from the construction process. ISG is also committed to providing a community skills and training legacy, as well as fully utilising the expertise of the regional supply chain to deliver this keynote regeneration project.”