£100m vision to transform sport facilities could see Les Quennevais Sports Centre demolished

LES Quennevais Sports Centre could be demolished and redeveloped by 2032 as part of a £100m government plan to provide a network of ‘exceptional’ new sporting facilities – including a stadium – across the Island.

Les Quennevais Sports Centre. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30449760)
Les Quennevais Sports Centre. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30449760)

Following studies that involved consultation with sports clubs and associations, the government has published its Inspiring Active Places strategy outlining plans for new public sport and wellbeing hubs around Jersey.

Delivery of the strategy is expected to cost £100m over ten years but no further details have yet been released about where that money could come from.

The strategy includes plans for facilities to be developed at Les Quennevais, Le Rocquier and on the Waterfront, as well as expansions to the Oakfield sports centre and Springfield site. The government also intends to build a stadium to accommodate both rugby and football, although the proposed location for this is not yet known.

As part of the plan, Fort Regent would be redeveloped next year to become an entertainment and cultural venue, and sports users currently based at the site would be accommodated elsewhere.

Fort Regent in 2019. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (30449718)

A public consultation has now been launched to gather Islanders’ views on the plans.

Deputy Hugh Raymond, who has political responsibility for sport, said: ‘Sport plays a vital role in Island life so I am thrilled to present our long-term aspirations for increasing sporting activities and developing our sporting industries in the Island.

‘We also want to focus on improving both the mental and physical health of Islanders, which is particularly important due to the impact of Covid-19, and our suggested state-of-the-art sport and wellbeing hubs will focus on just that.’

Phase one of the Les Quennevais development could be delivered in 2024 and would include the provision of a new 3G pitch and netball courts, with a second phase delivered in 2032 that would introduce indoor performance facilities and an eight-lane swimming pool. The redeveloped site would also house an eight-court sports hall, a permanent gymnastics facility and other resources.

The existing leisure centre would be demolished and that part of the site would be used to provide extra space for parking.

Last month Deputy Raymond announced that sports clubs and activities at Fort Regent would be moved elsewhere and that the ageing leisure centre could become an entertainment and cultural venue.

Redevelopment of Fort Regent is scheduled for 2022 and sports groups could be relocated to alternative facilities at Oakfield and Springfield.

The strategy proposes creating a facility within the redeveloped Waterfront area to serve as the main swimming and fitness centre in the Island – and the new home for those groups currently based at the Fort – and it is planned that this site would be built by 2030.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30449784)

The Deputy said that most groups using Fort Regent had already been spoken to and that ‘nobody is going to leave the Fort until they have got somewhere to go’.

Andy Scate, director general for the Infrastructure Department, said: ‘We are envisioning Jersey to have one of the most physically active and healthy populations in the world and by transforming our sports facilities we will be able to focus on reaching that goal.

‘The plan will continue to be developed through consultation and together I am certain we will design and deliver an exceptional range of modern public sport and wellbeing facilities for Jersey.’

The consultation can be found at inspiringactiveplaces.je.

More on Sport: Page 44 of today's [18 March] JEP.

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