Plans for new sporting hub in South Tyneside move step nearer

South Tyneside could be set to get a new sporting hub after council bosses revealed plans for land at Temple Park.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 4:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:00 am
The move could see the rugby, cricket, tennis and squash sections of South Shields and Westoe Sports Club switch to Temple Park.

The cabinet of South Tyneside Council has given the go-ahead to the local authority entering into an agreement with South Shields and Westoe Sports Club to lease land at the park, off John Reid Road, South Shields.

The club is now able to undertake detailed ground investigations and other scoping works, with a view to moving there from its current site at Dean Road.

Youngsters in action at Temple Park, South Shields.

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There are rugby, tennis, cricket and squash sections of the club, which has outgrown its current home and identified part of the Temple Park complex as a potential new site.

The agreement for a lease would allow for the expansion of the club, but will also see the facility used as a platform for the council to create a larger sporting academy for the community.

Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation at South Tyneside Council, said: “The proposed development at Temple Park would provide the borough with a high quality facility with benefits for the wider community, including five junior football pitches, all-year-round cricket and rugby and tournaments for schools and other community groups.

“In addition, the club’s existing site at Dean Road will be redeveloped to create 82 new quality family homes.

Youngsters in action at Temple Park, South Shields.

“The lease agreement will allow the club to carry out more detailed ground investigations as well as prepare and submit a planning application.”

The current leisure complex at Temple Park covers about 110 acres and has enough capacity to retain the existing council facilities, as well as welcome the club.

The proposed development area, which covers 38 acres, is now used as football pitches which have deteriorated in recent years, leading to poor usage.

Under the terms of the agreement, the club would replace the existing pitches to meet Sport England requirements and the council would own and manage them.

South Shields and Westoe Sports Club feel the new facility could be the envy of others across the North East.

Duncan Murray, chairman of the club, said: “We are delighted to be entering into the lease agreement with South Tyneside Council and excited at the potential for creating a sporting facility for both the club and wider community, which would be second-to-none in the region.”