This is the page of our website dedicated to our track project
Heile Gebrselassie backs the track. At an athletics conference in the North East in December club member Chris Lines bumped into athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie and outlined the ambition of Sedgefield Harriers to have their own athletics track. Given his origins lack of facilities for developing athletes will no doubt be a subject close to Haile's own heart and the superstar of the greatest ever distance athlete had no hesitation in joining the list of athletics stars to give their backing to the project.
The work with Paul Hawkins in the spring went well and we now have a detailed design of the proposed track and facilities. The Community College were engaged in the exercise and we have taken into account changes to football pitches. We now also know the costs involved and we have more information about how the project will proceed. The 'top' cost for an A grade competition facility is naturally high but we have various options at lower prices. The final decsion on which option to take will be held off until we have more idea about funding.
We have recently engaged track development consultant Paul hawkins of PHDev (www.phdev.co.uk) to prepare a design for the track and facilities. The Friends of Sedgefield Harriers are funding this work (thanks to the funds that have been raised so far). The Track Steering Group met to take some key decisions ahead of meeting with Paul and then met with Paul on 4.3.14 in a very positive meeting. The meeting discussed the type of surface for the track, the number of lanes, the jump facilities, the throws facilties and the preparation work required by the college among other things. All at the meeting felt that this is a very positive step forward. Paul Hawkins has been engaged on a 4-stage remit 1) establishing the club's preferred design, b) discussing the design with the Community College and incorporating their requirements, c) submitting the design to UK Athletics for the approval ahead of obtaining a competition licence, d) producing a detailed costing. The process should be completed within a couple of months and we will then have detailed plans of the facilities we are aspiring to and knowledge of how much it will cost which will be a great asset in seeking the funds we need.
Interview with Club Chair, Ean Parsons on Radio Tees about the planning consent and the track.
Fund raising efforts off to a great start with Friends of Sedgefield Harriers Fund Raising Ball at Sedgefield Racecourse.
Great News! Planning consent granted by Durham County Council.
Planning application for the track submitted to Durham County Council
Two significant meetings in the past two days. First we had the inaugural meeting of the Friends group at which Clive Crosby took us through how we go about becoming a Charitable Incoporated organisation registered with the Charities commission. Following the meeting we are progressing setting up the Friends group along with trustees. The day after there was a meeting at Sedgefield Community College at which (for the first time) we had the college, Sedgefield Harriers, Durham County Council, Amber Infrastructure and Carillion around the table all at the same time and we were able to make real progress. All parties now have a clear view of what we are trying to acheive and all are in agreement. This is a major step forward. The way is now clear for us to make a planning application with the expectation of success. Planning should be determined by October by which time we will hopefully have progressed the Friends Group and the serious fund rasining will be underway.
Sedgefield Harriers are holding a Public Consultation this week on Thursday 4th (5pm - 7.30pm), Friday 5th (10am - 4pm) and Saturday 6th (9am - 12noon) April in the Manor House on West End in Sedgefield (the Manor House is next door to Barclays Bank). Plans for the proposed athletics track will be on display and members of the public will be asked to give their views by completing a short questionnaire. The views received by the club will be taken into account by the club before the plans are submitted to Durham County Council for planning consent.
The Public Consultation is a major step for the track project. Having recently received £40,000 from the Town Council from a fund given to the community by Terrace Hill, the developers of the new Sainsburys foodstore in Sedgefield the club will be stepping up its efforts to secure the full funding it needs to build an athletics track and associated facilities at Sedgefield Community College. The £40,000 award is dependent on work starting by March 2015.
The Club has been awarded £40,000 from the foodstore developers windfall to set towards the cost of an athletics track at Sedgefield Community College. This is just less than 10% of what we believe we need in total but it is a significant start and demonstrates the support we have from the Town Council for the project. With this support and starting pot we can confidentally approach other funders and planners and pull the project together.
Full video, including questions. Lasts 23 mins.
A great presentation last night from Chris Lines at the open meeting held by the Town Council to hear bids from clubs and organisations for cash from the windfall from the foodstore development, and a great turn out from juniors, parents, coaches and seniors who wore their Back The Track tee shirts proudly. Fantastic of Allison Curbishley, Steve Cram and Daley Thompson to record messages of support for our project and to let everyone know the impact an athletics track can have on a club and the local community. Also a great message of support from John Stacey of England Athletics. Fingers crossed that the Town Council give us an award that will get our track fund off to a good start. This presentation certainly fired the starting gun of this latest phase of the project and we have an official launch coming up which will get us out of the blocks fund raising to make the track a reality.
The visit to Morpeth Harriers proved to be very interesting and the information gleaned from Mike Bateman at Morpeth will prove to be invaluable in the future as we take forward our own track plans. The track Morpeth have had laid at King Edward IV school is a six lane track with a eight lane home straight. There are also throws and jumps facilities and steeplechase provision. Mike explained how the facility is shared with the school and the other users of the track. Important to us, Mike gave us recent information about the planning process, ordering of the track and equipment and the partners in the process. All of this will feed into our own planning application. Mike mentioned that already since the track opened last year the club is attracting more members, mainly from the north side of Newcastle and Tyneside. It is worth bearing in mind that Morpeth is not that musch bigger than Sedgefield and the surrounding villages and yet last Saturday in Sunderland Morpeth acheived their long held ambition to become national cross country champions. With New Marske Harriers at a similar standing following the opening of their track at Lawrence Jackson School in Gusiborugh not long ago it is easy to see that our own aspirations as a club are not unrealistic especially given the commitment to coaching and development that we already have across the club. There was the same effect at Gateshead not too many years ago when the Gateshead track was opened and Gateshead Harriers went on to be national cross country champions and to produce a steady stream of champion athletes.
More immediately we have the presentation to Sedgefield Town Council for funding from the development of the foodstore in Sedgefield. The presentation will be led by Chris Lines and will reflect the breadth of the club and our activities and our expectations and aspirations for the future. The presentations to the council start at 7pm in the Parish Hall (Monday 4th March) and take place in an open meeting. There will be other bids for the £130,000 that is on offer. We need all the support we can get so please come along to teh meeting if you can - children also welcome. Those present also have the opportunity to ask questions of the other bids so please be prepared. One of the other bids has already had the opportunity to grill us on at least two occasions.
A fact finding visit to Morpeth Harriers has been set up for 26th February. The track at Morpeth King Edward VI school was installed during 2012. We are hoping to find out out the process, the contractors used, funding, the suppliers and the lay-out. The information will feed into our presentation to Sedgefield Town Council at the presentation for foodstore windfall funds on 4th March and also into the planning application process.
The track group met last night to discuss the format of the presentation to the Town Council on 4th March. Also discussed was a fact finding vist to Morpeth Harriers about their track and developing outline drawings to go for planning approval in the near future. The group are planning a public consultation in Sedgefield in the spring and there will be a launch of the clubs' official campaign to bring an athletics track to Sedgefield.
The club have been invited to a meeting of the Town Council on Monday 4th March at which we can make a presentation in support of our application for funding from the £150,000 that has been given to the Sedgefield Community by the foodstore developers. £10,000 of this cash has been retained by the Town Council as the basis of the neighbourhood Plan and £10,000 has been allocated for small funding applications up to £2,000. This leaves £130,000 for organisations to bid for. The track group will of course represent the club. The application will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting of the Track Steering Group.
Other current track issues;
A fact finding visit is being planned to Morpeth Harriers to find out more about how they went about there track project including the build; who they used etc.
Plans are to be drawn so that we can submit a planning application and carry out a public consultation.
Our track project represents the ambition of the club to have a synthetic athletics track laid in Sedgefield for the benefit of the club and the wider community.
The track project started in the autumn of 2010 when a steering group of club members was formed and the work of the group has continued consistently since - sometimes in the foreground, as in the case of exchanges of letters and opinion inSedgefield News throughout the summer of 2012, and sometimes in the background in the form of many meetings with planners, politicians, sports partners, facilities partners, potential funders etc.
There are regular update briefings and meetings held by the steering group and any club member or club stakeholder (parents & volunteers) are welcome to attend.
This page will be kept up-to-date with news, developments and information about the track project.
February 2012 - Notional Costing Study completed
September 2011 - Feasibility Study completed
Autumn 2010 - Track Steering Group formed