Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park celebrates transformational year and looks ahead to 2020

The new decade will see the start of a new era for the prestigious Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The iconic development will follow a transformational 2019 with several significant business, health, wellbeing and sporting milestones throughout 2020.

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s Project Lead, Richard Caborn, said: “I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park through what has been a truly transformational year and I’m excited to say we’ll be kicking off 2020 with some further significant milestones.

“These include the official opening of Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) in January, which is being led by Prof Rob Copeland. The AWRC will house the National Centre of Sport & Exercise Medicine Sheffield headquarters and consulting facilities, complementing the three existing Move More sites which currently deal with 80,000 clinical appointments per year.

“January will also see construction start on the Community Stadium which is being developed by Scarborough Group. The new stadium will provide a permanent home for Sheffield Eagles Rugby League and Sheffield United Women Football, along with facilities for UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Oasis Academy Don Valley and local community groups and clubs.

“The team at Scarborough Group are also taking forward plans for further development including offices, laboratories and a business incubator, and we’ll see a huge increase in the number of people working, studying and visiting the Park as it becomes a major part of Sheffield City Region’s economy.

“We’ve also been working with Canal & River Trust to maximise opportunities to utilise Sheffield and Tinsley Canal for active travel, and with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to offer Travel Clinics to people working at the Park and surrounding area.

“We’re looking forward to sending our Olympians and Paralympians to Tokyo 2020 and we are extremely proud to have more than 120 athletes training in Sheffield in preparation for the Games. The English Institute of Sport Sheffield, with its world class facilities, is playing a major role in preparing the athletes for what we hope will be another successful Games in Tokyo. We wish them all the best of luck.

“We also have plans in the pipeline for a third Celebration of Sport event in October 2020 so watch this space – more details to follow in the new year!”

Developments in and around Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park in 2019 included the opening of Sheffield Hallam University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) in October – a state-of-the-art centre focused on tackling food industry challenges such as productivity, health, minimising waste and reducing energy use.

Another significant milestone came when representatives from Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, led by Prof Paul Dimitri of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, met with key politicians and policymakers at Westminster to push forward plans for the Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT).

Set to be the first of its kind in the world, the CCHT will bring together global industry partners, SMEs, academics, clinicians, designers, computer scientists and engineers all with the aim of providing the world’s most advanced healthcare for young people. They include novel therapies for injuries, tackling a range of conditions including asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and mental health, and new and advanced approaches to child health prevention.

The UK’s first child health technology conference will take place in Sheffield in May 2020 and will welcome healthcare professionals, industry experts, engineers, designers, academics, and patient representatives from around the world at a two-day event.

There has been continued interest from the private sector looking at co-locating and collaborating at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. Bringing together the public sector, private sector and academia will create a critical mass of knowledge, expertise and opportunities in health and wellbeing research and innovation, from creating the workforce of the future at the UTC, to developing and supporting start-up businesses at the AWRC and the Wellbeing Commercialisation Centre.

The year also saw the launch of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park junior parkrun in November – a free weekly event for children aged 4-14 who are welcome to walk, jog or run the 2km course, which passes the flame from the World Student Games and the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS), and finishes on the 100m track in the centre of the Park.

The parkrun has been well attended and championed by local schools including Oasis Academy Don Valley and Phillimore Community Primary School and has been supported by local organisations including SIV, Henry Boot, B Braun Medical, NPrime and Accelerate Running Co.

Last month regeneration plans were announced which could lead to a £60m boost for Attercliffe. These include the expansion of the Banners building, the redevelopment of the Adelphi square site and creation of an English Institute of Sport Sheffield 100-bedroom hotel centred on the needs of athletes and para-athletes.

Richard added: “We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy and active new year.”