Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility
|Location||Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility|
|Owner||North Lanarkshire Leisure|
|Opened||30 September 2010|
|Construction cost||£30 Million (estimate)|
The sports facility first came to attention when plans were being drawn up to form a new town on the site of the former Ravenscraig steelworks, which closed in 1992. The sports facility project was given the go-ahead in November 2008. Work on the new facility got underway in mid-2009.
However, the project was at the centre of serious funding issues between different companies and councils, and thus delayed the beginning of construction by one year.
The building has been fully completed and was opened to the public on 4 October 2010. Before opening, there was a 24-hour charity football event on 30 September 2010. On 16 February 2011, Provost Tom Curley officially opened the facility, and it was estimated that over 100,000 people had used the facility for the first five months in operation.
Some of the amenities that the facility includes are:
- Full size indoor 3rd generation synthetic football pitch with spectator seating (FIFA 2 star standard)
- 135m indoor athletics track with throws and jump areas, including high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault. Also included is a throw cage suitable for javelin, hammer and discus.
- Strength and conditioning area based within the athletics hall containing 5 Olympic weightlifting platforms.
- 9 court badminton sports hall with sprung flooring and spectator seating
- Fitness gym
- Full-size outdoor 3rd generation synthetic football/rugby pitch (FIFA 2 star standard)
- Six five-a-side 3rd generation synthetic floodlit football pitches
- Two dance studios with sprung flooring
- Starbucks cafe
- Sports injuries clinic
- Drug testing area
- Office facilities and meeting rooms
There is also a jogging track completely surrounding the building that connects with the wider network of cycling and jogging paths throughout Ravenscraig and beyond. A mobile tennis court has been added for indoor and outdoor use, the first of its type in the UK.
The facility has, even before opening, received several positive commendations. One in particular was from the Scottish football team manager Craig Levein, who said that the facility would benefit football and the local community. Former First Minister Henry McLeish also admitted in part one of his report of Scottish football that facilities like Ravenscraig are important for the future of the national game. Also, former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Yvonne Murray says that the facility will benefit sport in Scotland, saying that it will boost the nations medal tally. In June 2011, First Minister Alex Salmond praised the facility, admitting that it will deliver a real and lasting legacy for Scotland and North Lanarkshire. On 13 October 2011, over a year after opening, it was revealed that the facility had attracted over 500,000 people, and by 27 June 2012, the visitor count had past the million mark.
The facility is being strongly considered as a training facility for the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Ravenscraig regional facility was also the main facility for the 2011 International Children's Games that took place in Lanarkshire, hosting the badminton and the athletics events. The facility has also been host to several major sporting events, such as the British Lightweight Boxing Title Fight and the Premier League Snooker tournament. as well as several other events involving big names in British Sport. In recent times, the facility has also been confirmed as one of six 2020 Football Performance Centres across Scotland. On 27 June 2012, it was revealed that over 500 sporting events had been held in the facility.
Other indoor football facilities in Scotland:
- Ravenscraig Sports Facility Archived 9 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, North Lanarkshire Leisure
- Ravenscraig Sports Facility, Populous Official Website
- "£1.2bn Ravenscraig project starts". BBC News. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "New sports centre to be built at Ravenscraig". STV Sport. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "New year start for Ravenscraig sports facility". Motherwell Times. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Fears over Ravenscraig Commitment". BBC News. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "New Ravenscraig sports centre attracts 100,000 people". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Ravenscraig centre hosts official opening ceremony". STV News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Boost for tennis with unique pop up courts at Ravenscraig". STV News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
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- "Major report demands changes to Scottish football". BBC Sport. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Ravenscraig will boost our medal tally, says Murray". Wishaw Press. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "First Minister visits Ravenscraig facility". Hamilton Advertiser. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Ravenscraig sports centre celebrates 500,000 visitors in first year". Wishaw Press. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Making steps towards a bright new future for Ravenscraig". STV News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "£29m for Ravenscraig sports complex". Scotland.gov.uk. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Ravenscraig goes potty for snooker". Motherwell Times. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Television programme recorded at Ravenscraig". STV Sport. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Six 2020 Performance Centres open". Scottish Football Association. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
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