ISG appointed preferred bidder for Belle Vue

Simon Donohue

The £10m Belle Vue Sports Village in East Manchester has moved a step closer with the appointment of construction firm ISG as preferred contractor.

ISG will work with AFL Architects on the new facility and was appointed following a competitive tender via the North West Construction Hub.

A joint planning application for the scheme is now being prepared by Manchester City Council, Belle Vue Aces and England Basketball.

It is hoped that the development will become the national home of speedway and basketball.

The proposals include a new National Speedway Stadium and National Speedway Academy that will be the home of Manchester's Belle Vue Aces team.

The facility will also boast an all-weather pitch, a new National Basketball Centre, new rugby pitch and high quality improvements to the existing fitness and leisure facilities.

The £4.5m building costs for the new National Speedway Stadium will initially be funded by Manchester City Council. This loan will be repaid by Belle Vue Aces though an annual rent as part of the club's lease agreement.

The purpose-built, 6,500 capacity speedway venue, with potential for additional temporary seating for larger events, could be the first of its kind in the country – able to host not only national race meets.

It will also compete with major speedway venues across the continent to host Grand Prix and World Cup events, potentially attracting up to 80,000 visitors each year to the city.

Belle Vue would also host a new National Speedway Academy, making Manchester a centre of excellence and encouraging grass roots development of new local speedway talent.

In addition, the centre of the track will feature a new grass Rugby League pitch, for use by St Peter's High School and the wider community.

A proposed National Basketball Centre, part funded by England Basketball, will include an extension to an existing sports hall to create a four court training centre that will also be suitable for a variety of national and international competition and events.

Although the focus will be basketball, the expanded hall will be available to the community for a variety of other sports.

Cllr Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Every milestone towards Belle Vue Sports Village is a step closer to realising the potential of this area.

"Of course there is still some way to go – planning and beyond – but we welcome the experience of ISG to deliver the development in the future."

Belle Vue chief executive David Gordon said: "We are looking forward to working closely with ISG and the Project Management Team."

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Excellent – sounds like an interesting new piece of regeneration for East Manchester which will complement the wider work going on. Hope this happens.

By Scousemanc