Weymouth College is to takeover the town's local leisure facility, Redlands Sports Centre. The centre, which was built in 1960, is in need of improvement, with out-of-date changing facilities and deteriorating playing fields.
Now Weymouth College has stepped in with plans to develop the centre, including a state-of-the-art athletics circuit and modern astro-turf playing fields.
The plans will enhance the College's own sports facilities, while creating a centre of sporting excellence for the local community in time for the 2012 Olympics, when Weymouth will host many of the sailing and water-based events.
Kelly Bush, Sports Programme Area Manager at Weymouth College said the plans represented an exciting opportunity for the College's sports students to develop their skills in a new way. He said:
'Olympic fever has already gripped Weymouth and if we are to preserve this interest for future generations, we will need sporting facilities of an international standard. The Redlands scheme will offer great facilities for our students and the wider community, and means our sports students will be able to develop their skills within the community, not just their peer group - something that is vital for their future careers.'
Under the scheme, which will begin in October 2008, Weymouth College will manage the Redlands Centre, working alongside the many local clubs and teams who call the centre home.
The College's plans include construction of a new athletics circuit and grandstand, making Weymouth a centre for athletics excellence in the South West, re-vamping and re-aligning all existing playing fields with state of the art rubber-crumb astro-turf, modernising changing rooms and improvements to parking and access.
The College is also forging links with neighbouring primary school Wey Valley and specialist school for children with learning difficulties, Wyvern School, ensuring the new facilities become a true 'Sports Hub' and are made available to all members of the community, not only Weymouth College students.
The scheme will be funded by key stakeholders such as Sport England the Football Association.
Paul Lonsdale, Weymouth College Deputy Principal added: 'Weymouth College is extremely excited about the possibilities this union between us and Redlands represents, both for our students and the Weymouth community as a whole. We want to see Weymouth set the national standard for sporting excellence. '