Willmott Dixon has secured a contract to build a new sports village in Middlesbrough.

The development is expected is cost around £18 million to complete and will include a 400m athletics track, tennis courts and a 75-station gym. It is designed to replace a number of existing sports centres across the north-east town. Middlesbrough Council gave the green light to the Middlesbrough Sport Village project and stated that it would be built on the site of an existing cycle tracks and skate park off Marton Road.

Willmott Dixon is expected to start construction in 2014 after it has completed the planning phase. While the initial part will include an athletics field, full-size flood-lit Artificial Turf Pitch (ATP) and senior and junior grass football pitches there is also the possibility of building swimming facilities, a major sports hall, an outdoor velodrome and a mountain bike/BMX track. The athletics track is due to be in place by October 2014.

Middlesbrough's plans are in line with the government's legacy campaign following the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Prime minister David Cameron had been adamant that the Games would help to promote sport across the nation as more and more people are inspired to take up exercise programmes. He also called on local authorities to look at ways in which they could promote sport in their areas.

Speaking about the news sports village, Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon said: "Middlesbrough’s sporting facilities are an important part of the fabric of the town, and they mean a great deal to the people who live and work here.

“The ambition is to create a new iconic, regional sports destination which will attract people from across the town and further afield for generations to come."

Before construction can get underway however the plans must go to a public consultation for Middlesbrough residents to give their views.

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