Sporting Village Nears Completion

With ten weeks to go until Basildon Sporting Village opens - developers say it will be finished on time and on budget.

Work started on the £38 million centre at Gloucester Park in October 2009.

The county's only 50m swimming pool is almost completed and the inside of the building will be fitted with equipment in April.

Besides the Olympic size pool, training pool and sports courts, there'll also be a regional gymnastics centre, climbing wall, fitness suite and a creche.

The 750 seat athletics grandstand and 6-a-side football pitches are finished.

The centre will also boast 12 outdoor netball courts and an 8-court sports hall for team games and badminton.

It's hope the site in Basildon will host Olympic training camps with an announcement expected in the summer.

Simon Jones from Basildon Borough Council will work there when it opens - he says it'll be state-of-the-art: " We will cater for the top athletes to come and train - at the same time it'll be used by members of the community as well, which'll be fantastic."

There's also going to be stiff competition for jobs.

The village will be staffed by 110 people, but 70 of them will be transferred in from other leisure centres.

At a recent recruitment day in Towngate Theatre a thousand people said they were interested - with only 40 vacancies needing to be filled.

There is concern that there won't be enough parking with 500 memberships already sold.

Councillor Tony Hall says it's a nice problem to have and something they're working on.

He said: "Hopefully once you've paid your membership - the least of your issues would be parking right outside. I understand that you would want to, but I think if you've made the effort to join and you're going to use the gym, to walk an extra little bit won't be too much of an effort for you."