Refreshed Design for Sheffield's Park Community Arena Approved

The new arena will be a base for a number of community-based, high-performance sports teams

Plans for a new Community Arena on the Bond Bryan-designed Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park have taken one step closer to becoming a reality this week, after Sheffield City Council’s Planning Department gave the green light to our reimagined proposals for the facility.

The Park Community Arena (PCA), which is set to be a multi-purpose, indoor community sports facility housing three full-size basketball courts, home for the Sheffield Sharks basketball team and home to major events company, MLS Contracts Ltd, was originally approved as part of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Outline Planning Permission granted on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium back in 2015. The arena will now also house a Sports Diagnostic Suite, funded by Canon Medical Systems, which will add a fantastic service accessible for all sports professionals and enthusiasts throughout the City region.

Since then, Bond Bryan’s original vision for the facility has been given a facelift with a refreshed design and the addition of a new state-of-the-art medical diagnostic suite, funded by Canon Medical Systems, to create a service accessible for all sports professionals, sports enthusiasts, the public at large, and research opportunities linked to the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The PCA will become a key centrepiece in the next phase of development on the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which is building on being one of the world’s most successful elite athlete training facilities, delivering some of Team GB’s greatest athletes – including Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams OBE, Will Bayley MBE and Anthony Joshua OBE – becoming a world class centre of applied Research and Development to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Director of Park Community Arena and Chairman of the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Yuri Matischen, comments:

“The new arena will be a base for a number of community-based, high-performance sports teams which have strong links with education and the wider Sheffield community. 

It will provide additional affordable space for clubs – from grass roots to the elite. These will include basketball, volleyball, netball and futsal – providing a ‘club’ environment for the teams. The PCA will have a focus on basketball of all ages and abilities, and as the indoor sport that attracts over 50% participation from amongst BAME communities, the venue will have a strong allegiance with many disadvantaged communities providing pathways to physical activity and sport coupled to extra-curricular learning inspired by sporting role models”.

We believe that the venue, with its lower overheads and club approach, will help to make these sports and clubs into sustainable community enterprises – reflecting the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.” 

Bond Bryan have worked closely with the client, Park Community Arena Ltd, and the wider Project Team to create the revised design over the last 12 months throughout the pandemic. Associate Director, Jon Rigby, explains:

“With Sheffield being recognised as the first National City of Sport, our involvement in a project of this nature on our doorstep is extremely exciting for us. We are thrilled to be involved in a scheme which further safeguards this strong sporting legacy of the Don Valley and we’re sure that the PCA will become an important asset for the local community – providing an inspirational place for future generations to engage with sport. 

We’ve developed a close relationship with the team at PCA, MLS and with Sheffield Sharks since we first became involved in designing the arena during its initial phase back in 2013; we understand how much passion and investment has gone into reaching this crucial point and we’re delighted for Yuri and the team over the renewed sense of momentum and focus which the recently approved redesign and inclusion of the world-class diagnostic suite is set to generate.”

In terms of the architectural solution presented as part of the revised proposals, the building design is simple in its form and materiality and has a strong, sweeping silhouette profile. We have sought to ensure that design quality is maximised on the two principal elevations – utilising an aesthetic of understated functional elegance, combining large expanses of glazed curtain walling with a more delicate outer layer of timber ‘Brise Soleil’ horizontal shading. We felt strongly that the building should feel inviting and exciting to visitors and speak both for world-class, elite athletes and grass-roots community-level sport in the same, welcoming way and we’re thrilled that the Planning Department have supported this vision.”

The Park Community Arena is expected to start on site later this Spring.

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