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Progress continues to be made on £3m athletics facility for Aberdare

Excellent progress continues to be made on the construction of first-class athletics facilities as part of the Sobell development in Aberdare, as part of a wider £67m investment by the Council.

Making the most of the recent good weather, the Council’s contractor for the £3m scheme, Laing O’Rourke, has made excellent progress – and the latest images from the site show how the development is rapidly evolving.

Following the demolition of the former Michael Sobell Sports Centre, the Council’s contractor begun constructing new track and field athletics facilities at the end of 2017, along with a new 263-seat spectator stand and changing rooms. The project is on course to be completed by Autumn 2018.

The athletics development is part of the significant Education and Leisure investment in Aberdare alongside the state-of-the-art Aberdare Community School, new Sobell Leisure Centre, all-weather 3G pitch and skate park.

In recent weeks, the polymeric surfacing to the running track has progressed very well, and the base mat for the track now been installed. If the recent good weather continues, contractors will be able to make similar good progress with the red-top coat of the athletics track in the coming weeks.

Works on the grandstand have also progressed very well and are now nearing completion. The seats and accessible platform lift are in place. Internal ceiling works, mechanical and electrical works, and decorations are progressing well.

Externally, the perimeter fencing for the site is now complete. This has allowed the temporary site fencing to be removed, in order to allow members of the public to see the excellent progress being made with the project.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said:

“The significant Sobell development in Aberdare will be enjoyed by current and future generations. The £67m investment has already transformed the Education and Leisure offer through brand new, state-of-the art facilities.

“The latest images from the athletics track show how the area continues to transform very quickly, with the grandstand now largely completed and the athletics track taking shape. I’ve visited the site a number of times since construction started at the end of 2017 and, helped by the recent good weather, it is fantastic to see the excellent progress being made.

“Improving outdoor leisure facilities is a priority for the Council through #RCTinvest, and it has made public an ambitious aim to provide a 3G sports pitch for residents within three miles of their home – no matter where they live in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The athletics track will further enhance the outdoor leisure opportunities in Aberdare, adding to the 3G pitch and skate park which have already been delivered as part of the Sobell scheme.

“The athletics development is also giving important employment opportunities to local people during its construction. When the Council requested local employment figures for the scheme for a period in March, it was told 44% of the workforce lived within 10 miles of the site, and 72% lived within 20 miles.

“I’m looking forward to seeing further progress on the development in the coming weeks, including the red-top surfacing of the athletics track which will be a fantastic visual landmark for the scheme.”