We have just finished the pre-qualification stage in the procurement of the Sporting Village for Basildon District. This will provide our community with absolutely top-notch sporting facilities for sports from casual use all the way to elite sports of the highest standard. The Council is currently engaging in the process to select a development partner to build and operate the Sporting Village, a process which is dictated by EU regulations and which is rather long and tortuous. This is first stage where companies who want to be a part of the project have to more than just express an interest, they have to provide reams of information for evaluation. So, that cuts it down the field to those with a serious interest. While there will be an official Council communication later, I can say at this point that we are pleased with how things have gone. The project stays firmly on track, with a timescale that, if everything works out, will see Basildon with the facilities to support the London Olympics in 2012.
The Sporting Village will make Basildon the hub for sport in South Essex, and one of the key locations for sport in the East of England, if not England itself. This is good for our young people and good for our community, and a credit to our partners, including Essex County Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as the officers of Basildon District Council, who have worked so hard get us to this stage.