Location of new 3G pitch at Thornes Park Athletics Stadium to be moved after concerns raised by Wakefield Harriers

A new home will be found for a 3G pitch at Wakefield’s Thornes Park, after members of the local athletics club raised concerns it would wipe out part of the venue’s running track.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:54 am
The pitch was originally going to be located inside the running track, prompting concerns from Wakefield Harriers members.

Thornes Park Stadium is being rebuilt after a huge fire destroyed most of the premises last year.

Among the facilities the local council is planning to install as part of a revamp is an all-weather pitch for sports teams.

The council had originally suggested it be located in the middle of 400m long running track at the stadium, which is used by the Wakefield Harriers.

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The stadium was gutted by fire last year.

But now, the authority has agreed to move the pitch after members of the Harriers complained it would encroach onto the track, leaving just six of the eight lanes currently available.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the council's portfolio holder for leisure, Coun Jacquie Speight confirmed that the concerns had sparked a change of heart.

She said: "We took on board feedback on the re-siting of the 3G pitch, which was originally sited for the oval, but this is now to be determined elsewhere.

"Feedback from the consultation indicated a preference for an eight lane track."

More than 900 people took part in a public consultation at the end of last year over how the new stadium should look.

A new fitness studio, gym and a cafe are among the other features set to be built into the facility.

Coun Speight also told the meeting that a new children's play area may also be located next to the stadium.

This will not affect the planned improvements to other play area in Thornes Park, which the council has already committed money towards.

Cabinet member and Wakefield West councillor Michael Graham said: "I'm ecstatic this is coming forward.

"It goes to show what the stadium and the park mean to the people of Wakefield. They all want to feed into this.

"Even people who don't use the park are feeding in what they want to say.

"We are listening to people, we want to know what you think. We're listening to what you say and we're feeding back and we're delivering on what you say."

More detailed designs for the stadium will now be drawn up and put forward for scrutiny later this year.

Local Democracy Reporting Service