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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Athletes assured on city stadium
Leckwith stadium with Ninian Park in the background
The current athletics stadium will be demolished
Athletes in Cardiff have been told they can continue using the city's athletics stadium while work takes place on Cardiff City FC's new home.

It was feared athletes would have to travel elsewhere to train for 11 months when Leckwith stadium makes way for a new 35m 30,000-seat football stadium.

But developers Cardiff City Stadium Ltd say that this is now not the case.

It said it was working to have new athletics facilities in place before Leckwith is demolished in July 2007.

Leckwith athletics stadium sits in the middle of the proposed Cardiff City FC stadium site on the south-western edge of the city.

We are very pleased that a solution has been found that will ensure the least possible disruption for Cardiff's athletes
Jeff Kirby, Cardiff AAC

Athletics club Cardiff AAC and Grange Quins football club are among the users of the stadium.

It was thought that there would be no major athletics facility in the city for up to 11 months between the demolition of Leckwith and the building of a new athletics facility nearby.

But developers have said that the main infrastructure work including highway improvements, drainage, gas supply and electricity cables can be carried out in a way that will allow Leckwith to remain open until July 2007.

Work is scheduled to begin on the new athletics stadium in January with the track and throwing areas expected to be open for use by the end of July 2007.

The new athletics stadium is expected to be completed by October 2007 and it is hoped that Cardiff City FC's stadium will open in 2008.

Artist impression of the new stadium
The new football stadium is planned for land opposite Ninian Park

Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman said: "There was a lot of speculation in the media that athletes and users of Cardiff athletics stadium would be left without a home for up to 11 months in order for the development of Cardiff City Football Club's new stadium to go ahead.

"Clearly this would have been far from satisfactory.

"I am also very encouraged by the progress that is being made on the city stadium development and remain confident that Cardiff will benefit enormously from this project."

Peter Ridsdale, Cardiff City FC's deputy chairman, said: "We are delighted to have found a solution which works for all parties and hopefully we can get all outstanding matters resolved in the next month or so to get the green light for the stadium development to start."

Jeff Kirby, chairman of Cardiff AAC added: "We are very pleased that a solution has been found that will ensure the least possible disruption for Cardiff's athletes."

The plans will now go before Cardiff Council's scrutiny committee and are due to be considered by the executive and full council by October.




SEE ALSO
Stadium plan may affect athletics
27 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
Cardiff stadium 'ready by 2008'
07 Jul 06 |  Cardiff City
'Watershed' for city stadium deal
31 Jan 06 |  South East Wales
New deadline for Cardiff stadium
23 Nov 05 |  South East Wales

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