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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
35m sports complex given backing
London 2012 flag
The sporting complex could be ready for the London 2012 Olympics
A scheme to build a 35m sports complex in Essex has moved a step closer after getting the backing of national quango Sport England.

Basildon District Council and Basildon Renaissance want to build the Sporting Village at Gloucester Park, Basildon.

Sport England says the scheme addresses "many of Basildon's local sports facility deficiencies".

It added that it could provide a training camp for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

'First-class sports complex'

Sport England, the body charged with delivering the government's objectives in sport, said in a statement it strongly supported the proposal for a Sporting Village, saying it would fit in with plans for increasing participation in sport.

The statement, from Sport England's senior planning officer, Roy Warren, said: "It offers the potential to provide a first-class multi-sports complex of regional importance that will meet the needs of both the community and elite athletes."

Olympic-sized pool

Basildon councillor Anthony Hedley, cabinet member for leisure, said: "Sport England's backing brings our plans one step closer, not least because they're charged with delivering the government's own objectives in sport."

If the council's plans are successful, the Sporting Village could be open in time for the London Olympics.

The centre will include a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, a gymnastics centre and a multi-purpose sports hall.

It will also house a play zone and creche for children, a gym with more than 100 fitness stations, an aerobics studio, cafe, bar and spectators area.

Sport England's endorsement follows the council's announcement that it will provide 15m of funding towards the project.


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