Leigh Sports Village

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Leigh Sports Village Stadium
LeighStadium-May2008.jpg
Full name Leigh Sports Village Stadium
Location Sale Way, Leigh, Greater Manchester, WN7 4GX
Coordinates 53°29′28″N 2°31′44″W / 53.491°N 2.529°W / 53.491; -2.529Coordinates: 53°29′28″N 2°31′44″W / 53.491°N 2.529°W / 53.491; -2.529
Built 2007–2008
Opened 28 December 2008
Owner Leigh Sports Village Company Ltd.
Operator Leigh Sports Village Company Ltd.
Surface Deso GrassMaster
Construction cost £17.5m[1]
Main contractors Hall Construction[1]
Capacity 11,000
Record attendance 10,544
Tonga vs Cook Islands
2/11/2013
Tenants
Leigh Centurions 2008 – present
Leigh Genesis 2009–2010
Blackburn Rovers Reserves 2009– present

Leigh Sports Village is a £50 million multi-use sports,[2] retail and housing development in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. Leigh Sports Village plays host to three of the town's sporting clubs. Amateur rugby league club, Leigh East and amateur athletics club, Leigh Harriers occupy dedicated facilities on the site. Leigh Centurions Rugby League club is resident at the 11,000 seater with standing terraces in the Tommy Sale Stand. Other facilities on site include the Leigh campus of Wigan & Leigh College, Leigh Sports Centre, which includes a gym, multi-use sports hall and swimming pool, and the Park Inn Hotel.

Background[edit]

Leigh Sports Village is a development southwest of Leigh town centre, on the north side of the Leigh arm of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, close to Pennington Flash Country Park and accessed from the A579, Atherleigh Way and by pedestrian routes from the town and surrounding area. The scheme was initially developed to contribute to the regeneration of Leigh and provide modern facilities for local sports clubs, schools and the local community.[3]

The main focus of the sports village is the stadium built for local professional sports clubs and its associated facilities. It is all seating in the West, East and South Stands with standing in the North Stand. There is a 25-metre swimming pool, gymnasia and activity rooms and a sports hall used by the sports clubs, college and local community. A synthetic 400-metre running track, covered training facility and field sports area has been built for Leigh Harriers and Athletic Club and amateur rugby league club, Leigh East ARLFC has a clubhouse.[3]

Leigh College occupy a site on the stadium perimeter and share sports and youth facilities. To make the project commercially viable, retail and commercial premises, housing and a hotel are built on the site close to Atherleigh Way.[3]

Roads on the Sports Village site are named after three local sporting personalities: Tommy Sale, Jimmy Ledgard and Geoff Turner.[4] The roads are Sale Way, home to the stadium, sixth form college and sports centre, Turner Way address of Leigh Harriers Athletics Club, whilst Ledgard Avenue accommodates the new Leigh East clubhouse.

Stadium[edit]

Two ramp-up events were held during December 2008 to fulfil safety certificate requirements. A children's rugby league festival was held on 14 December 2008 as the first event, rescheduled from the previous week because of a frozen pitch.[5] After a successful first event, the crowd capacity was set at 4,775. A sell-out crowd of 4,714 saw Leigh versus Salford on 28 December 2008.[6][7]

Leigh Sports Village was officially opened on Thursday 21 May 2009, by Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.[8]

Leigh Sports Village has been included in the London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. The facility is now available for use by competing nations as a training camp before the London 2012 Olympic Games. Officials have been in negotiations with the Ukrainian Olympic team to bring the nation's athletes to the Leigh Sport Village.[9]

On 27 July 2013 the stadium staged its first Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-final, between Wigan and London Broncos.

2013 Rugby League World Cup

On Tuesday 5 November, the stadium hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Tonga versus Cook Islands tie, which was won by Tonga 22-16 in front of a stadium record crowd of 10,544.[10]

Sir Elton John

On Saturday 21 June 2014, Sir Elton John and his band will be playing one of only three announced UK venues for his 2013/4 tour.

Facilities[edit]

Facilities available at Leigh Sports Village include:[2]

  • A multi-use 11,000-capacity outdoor stadium with Desso GrassMaster pitch and under-pitch heating[11]
  • 4 hospitality suites and 22 corporate boxes
  • Leigh Indoor Sports Centre – A gymnasium, 9 court sports hall and 25m 6 lane swimming pool
  • A 400-metre running track with a 60-metre covered sprinting facility and club house
  • Multi-use floodlit 3rd-generation artificial and grass pitches
  • Sports pavilion

Site users and tenants[edit]

The site is operated by Leigh Sports Village Company on behalf of Wigan Council – owners of the stadium, athletic stadium and clubhouse, swimming pool and sports centre, rugby league clubhouse and 3G pitches. Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust operate Leigh Indoor Sports Centre. Along with general public, use of artificial and grass pitches, sports hall, gymnasium and swimming pool, the Leigh Sports Village site has several long term tenants.

  • Leigh Centurions rugby league club are tenants at the stadium.
  • Leigh Harriers Athletic Club are tenants of the athletics facilities.[12]
  • Blackburn Rovers Reserves play home matches in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North at Leigh Sports Village Stadium, as of 2009 bringing their 9-year stay at Christie Park to an end.[13]
  • Park Inn are the owners and operators of the hotel.
  • Sports Village Church. Meets every Sunday 4.30pm at the Leigh Harriers Function Room[14]
  • Leigh Athletic Football Club. Plays all their home games at the Leigh Harriers[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hall gets the go-ahead for Leigh stadium, Contract Journal. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b Leigh Sports Village – Wigan Council
  3. ^ a b c Prospectus (pdf), Sport Keighley, retrieved 28 October 2011 
  4. ^ Roads honour for Leigh legends
  5. ^ A Festival of Rugby – as Leigh warms up the new stadium
  6. ^ Barker, Neil (28 December 2008). "Rugby League – Leigh 6 Salford 26". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  7. ^ Hulme, Mike (30 December 2008). "New era for Centurions". Leigh Journal. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Warm Welcome for the Queen in Leigh". The Leigh Reporter. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  9. ^ Olympic dreams become reality in Wigan and Leigh
  10. ^ "Rugby League World Cup: Tonga 22-16 Cook Islands". BBC. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  11. ^ http://leighsportsvillage.co.uk/news_detail_from_leigh_sports_village.php?news_id=199
  12. ^ About us, Leigh Harriers Athletic Club, retrieved 12 August 2013 
  13. ^ Blackburn Rovers Reserves make move to Leigh
  14. ^ {{|url=http://www.sportsvillagechurch.com}}
  15. ^ {{|url=http://www.leighathleticfc.co.uk}}

External links[edit]