Sporting chance

PUBLISHED: 11:21 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Cllr Simon Speller (left) with Grahame Bowles at the Bragbury End site

Cllr Simon Speller (left) with Grahame Bowles at the Bragbury End site

Ambitious plan for facility that could be used for Olympics training A MULTI-MILLION pound plan to buy 46 acres of land and turn it into a super sports ground could see a number of clubs permanently move home. Stevenage Sports Council, which represents t

Ambitious plan for facility that could be used for Olympics training

A MULTI-MILLION pound plan to buy 46 acres of land and turn it into a super sports ground could see a number of clubs permanently move home.

Stevenage Sports Council, which represents the interests of local clubs, is trying to persuade Stevenage Borough Council to buy the former British Aerospace sports grounds at Bragbury End.

The move could see several of the town's clubs move location to use the new site.

Sports council chairman Grahame Bowles said: "It was originally a Stevenage Town Rugby Club project with the sports council and borough council's backing."

That project was called Strongoak and proposed spending £3.5million on sports facilities.

Mr Bowles said: "There was a pause as the club was exploring different avenues.

"If the club doesn't want to do it on their own we would be interested in working with them and have already contacted the council about the possibility of buying the land which they're considering.

"There is room enough for nine sports pitches and various clubs, including Stevenage Hockey Club, are interested in moving there permanently."

The hockey club, based at Ditchmore Lane, currently has pitches at Nobel School and John Henry Newman School.

Club chairman James Hamilton said the idea was to have several clubs, all playing in one area.

He said: "For us, to have something like an Astroturf pitch and two training pitches to practise on would be a godsend."

Stevenage Borough councillor Simon Speller said the land, used for training by the West German football team before the 1966 World Cup final, could be similarly used during the 2012 Olympics.

"We're hoping that we could offer training facilities for sportsmen and women from countries competing in the Olympics," he said. "We want it to be the premier sports ground for Stevenage."

Fellow councillor Sue Myson said: "The council is keen to retain sports fields for sports use but it's early days yet.

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