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Morgan Sindall Investments Limited is helping create Basildon Sporting Village, identified as a potential training camp for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. The name “Sports Village” describes a facility that offers a range of sporting facilities on a single campus. Once complete, facilities will include an Olympic-size swimming pool, a multi-purpose sports hall, a gymnastics centre, a multi-purpose studio, a 100-workstation health and fitness suite and a climbing wall. The centre will accommodate meeting rooms, exhibition areas, a creche and a cafe, helping to form a community hub. It will also support the existing athletics track, synthetic turf pitch, 12 outdoor netball courts and 10 grass pitches. The project is notable not only for its size – it is the largest sports project in the Thames Gateway, Europe’s biggest regeneration scheme – but also for the efforts being made to ensure it is sustainable.
Basildon Sporting Village is intended to have social benefits, through providing new facilities and programmes to the local community. The Sporting Village will be the best public sports facility in Essex andwill offer residents from Basildon and across the county a real centreof sporting activity. It will help encourage everyone to get activeand will help families lead healthier and happier lifestyles. The Sporting Village will form a focal point for a number of sports within the District and will be the home for a number of individual Sports Clubs within Basildon. For example, it is anticipated that 85% of available time in the new swimming pool will be allocated for community use (casual swimming, swimming lessons, water aerobics, school swimming, etc). The remaining 15% will be for use by clubs and competitive swimmers. A new cafe, selling healthy eating options and Fairtrade products, will promote community cohesion.
The Everyone Active programme will provide access to fitness and recreational facilities and exercise classes for a wide range of people. The Basildon Sporting Village looks to work with local schools and colleges to provide work experience and employment opportunities. An in-house training academy will give members of staff the necessary skills, knowledge and training so that they are able to perform their roles effectively. The Village will adopt a Personal Development Plan whereby members of staff are offered opportunities to further develop their careers through internal and external training and development courses.
During construction, environmental sustainability is being pursued through specification of sustainable materials, recycling of demolished building material as hard core and segregation of waste materials for recycling. Existing trees are being protected and local ecology enhanced by planting new species. Energy use across the Sporting Village will be minimised through various features. The 50m swimming pool will be heated using a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, strategically-placed roof lights will minimise lighting use in public areas, and solar water heaters and wind catchers have also been incorporated into the designs. Water is not being wasted either, with the toilets using recycled rainwater.
Basildon Sporting Village project is a joint public and private partnership scheme between Basildon District Council and Community Solutions for Leisure. Community Solutions for Leisure is a subsidiary of Morgan Sindall Investments Limited, and aims to provide sport and leisure facilities and services, which help achieve community participation and enhance their long-term health. MSIL’s long-term association with the project is assured through the 25-year agreement that has been signed between Community Solutions for Leisure and Basildon District Council. This will see MSIL involved in not only the design and build of Basildon Sporting Village but in the operation and maintenance of the facility once complete, and taking on the financial risks associated with its use.
The Sporting Village is being promoted as an ‘affordable for all’ public facility, meaning that Basildon District Council has set a maximum price that can be charged for key activities. This arrangement includes concessions for persons on low income, disabled persons, persons under 16 years and people over 60 years of age. The development will provide jobs for local people. The contract targets for the provision of apprenticeship/trainee placements and work experience schemes. Community Solutions for Leisure will take all reasonable steps to recruit staff and appoint supplier chains from within the Basildon district and are required to report on this regularly.
"We are working actively to provide state-of-the-art sports and leisure facilities, offering value-for-money and a real source of pride for the residents of Basildon. We are confident the Sporting Village will increase sports participation, community integration and encourage healthy living in Basildon."Nigel Franks
General manager, Community Solutions for Leisure (CSL)