R G Carter completes construction on new community sports complex

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Colchester sports park

Construction work on Colchester Borough Council’s multi-million pound Sports Park, located at Colchester Northern Gateway off junction 28 of the A12 in Colchester, has now completed.

The new 76-acre sports and leisure facility features a fully floodlit one-mile closed cycle track, a learn to ride facility and cycle pump track alongside two latest generation 4G pitches and seven traditional grass rugby pitches.

The sports centre building provides a five-court sports hall with facilities for a variety of sports including badminton, futsal and indoor cricket. The building also houses a fully equipped fitness suite, exercise and dance studios, an interactive velo studio, meeting rooms and a café.

Colchester new sports park

A stunning new state-of-the-art clubhouse has also been built overlooking the 4G and grass pitches which will become the new home of Colchester Rugby Football Club, whilst an archery range and clubhouse has been constructed to the south of the site which will become home to the Colchester and District Archery Club

The whole facility is set within acres of green open spaces where to date over 500 trees and almost 120,000 hedgerow plants, shrubs, perennials and grasses have been planted for people’s future enjoyment, with further extensive planting planned. 

Colchester Borough Council funded the £28.8 million development which was project managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd. It has been supported by significant funding from groups including British Cycling, Sport England, and from England and Wales Cricket Club.

Dance studio Colchester
New dance studio

Work was carried out by East Anglia’s leading construction firm, R G Carter, who have now handed over the development to Colchester Borough Council.

James Wilson, Director at R G Carter, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Colchester Amphora on a forward-thinking and unique project. Supporting the borough’s vision for providing the local community with a first-class sports hub, this new facility will encourage sport participation for many years to come.”

Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council said: “The completion of this inspiring facility marks a huge milestone towards our vision to give all of our residents new and wide-ranging opportunities to play sport, be healthy and enjoy our outdoor spaces. Importantly for me, the Sports Park will be accessible for all, offering activities for all abilities and those with disabilities.

“My thanks to R G Carter for their expertise and commitment to deliver this project in what has been a challenging year. The result is an exceptional Sports Park that will enable people both locally and from across the wider region to get involved, get active and make the most of the remarkable facilities Colchester can offer. When things return to normal after Covid, this will be a facility Colchester can be proud of.”

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle was appointed by Colchester Borough Council to provide a full suite of consultancy services for the complex, including project management and cost management. The delivery partners were procured through SCAPE consultancy which facilitated a direct award framework designed to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost savings.

Galvin Tarling, regional partner for the East of England at Perfect Circle, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park, a project that will enrich the community it serves, provide a focal point for the local area, and offer a sustainable first-class social and leisure facility for all to enjoy for decades to come.

“We provided more than 20 service elements under a single delivery agreement – speeding up the procurement process and offering an efficient and cost-effective route to market for Colchester Borough Council’s complex, community-focused new facility. Engaging Perfect Circle via SCAPE also gave the council access to our extensive supply chain.

“Due to the council utilising Perfect Circle’s unique delivery model via SCAPE, together with the whole delivery team showing a true belief in collaboration, the project exceeded all expectations in providing a lasting legacy for the local community and Colchester Rugby Club.”

Mark Robinson, group chief executive of SCAPE, added: “Delivering impactful and lasting social value is central to the government’s plans to build back better, faster and greener, and projects like this new state-of-the-art sports park typifies what needs to be delivered to achieve those plans.

“Together, R G Carter, Perfect Circle and Colchester Borough Council have delivered a facility that will continue to enrich the community now and long into the future, creating lasting value for future generations.”

The new sports and leisure park, part of the wider Colchester Northern Gateway development, is due to open in Spring 2021 under the operation of Leisure World Colchester. Anyone interested in finding out more about hiring the new sport facilities can complete an expression of interest form by visiting colchesterleisureworld.co.uk/northerngatewaysportspark.