Starting gun fired on new £1.25million sports facility for Uttlesford

PUBLISHED: 08:15 11 June 2019

Tina Knight, front, turns the turf to mark the start of building work at Carver Barracks. Picture: MOD

Tina Knight, front, turns the turf to mark the start of building work at Carver Barracks. Picture: MOD

Archant

A turning of the turf ceremony has been held to fire the starting gun on the building of a new £1.25million sports facility at Carver Barracks.

An Olympic-standard running track and sports pitches at the barracks, in Wimbish, will be part-funded by the Ministry of Defence, with a £500,000 grant provided by Uttlesford District Council.

The facility will be available for use by members of the community as well as the military, with a club also set to be established.

On May 28, representatives from the barracks and others involved with the four-year project were invited to attend a ceremony to celebrate the official start of the building work.

The work is expected to commence imminently, with the facility scheduled to be open by the end of next year.

Former Wimbish councillor, Tina Knight, was among those who attended the ceremony, having championed the running track plans since their inception in 2015.

The contract between the Ministry of Defence and Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to allow the project to begin was signed on May 1 following protracted negotiations.

Doubt over the Ministry of Defence's commitment to Carver Barracks had stalled the project before an announcement last year confirming that the army would remain at the site until at least 2032.

Mrs Knight said: [I feel] relieved, obviously, extremely elated after four years of frustration but, clearly, delighted that such a fantastic Olympic standard sports facility which, in addition to all of the facilities that will be available, will also have a sports club run by Mo Park, a fully qualified UKA athletics coach, so good chances of future Olympic hopefuls from the area.

"I sincerely trust the team work and co-operation here will be the model this sports facility will be based on in the future. As this was the very last job I carried out for UDC I feel I have won an Olympic gold medal in the high jump. What could be better?"

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