Construction on York’s community stadium, future home to English National League North football club York City, is set to begin in the autumn.
The upcoming £41m (€46m/$53m) community venue project will also become Championship rugby league’s York City Knights’ home ground.
York City Council gave the green light for the building work to begin in October on the Monks Cross site, with the main construction phase taking up to 16 months.
In addition to the 8,000-capacity stadium, a new commercial development on the site will feature a Cineworld cinema complex, including an Imax screen, five restaurants and up to three retail units.
A new swimming pool, gym, dance studio, indoor and outdoor climbing facilities and sports hall with spectator seating will also be added to the site in a new leisure facility.
There will also be an additional NHS outpatient service to be offered from a community hub, with the entire complex on track to be open in 2019. A new library and York Against Cancer retail unit could be added to the plans, subject to approval by the board.
York City owner and chairman Jason McGill said: “This is exciting news for York City supporters and the city’s sporting future. It is a highly significant announcement that will help safeguard the long-term future of York City Football Club.
“I am extremely grateful to the local council and other associated parties for their hard work and patience in moving this matter forward.
“If things go according to plan, York City supporters will be watching their team at a new 8,000-capacity stadium by the start of the 2019-2020 season.”
York City FC has called Bootham Cresent its home since 1932, while the Knights have moved from Huntington Stadium to Bootham Cresent after a brief stint of being homeless after the Huntington venue closed in 2014.
Jon Flatman, York City Knights owner, said: “This is a positive step change for rugby league in York and North Yorkshire. A community stadium will continue the growth of the sport for the professional club, community clubs, universities, colleges and schools.
“We will work hard to bring the 2021 World Cup to York and I look forward to each and every player, volunteer, supporter and coach in the district engaging and benefitting from the investment.”
Nigel Ayre, the executive councillor with responsibility for the stadium, said: “The community stadium project is about to take a major step forward with building work starting in just a few months.
“Since the last major update there have been several issues to contend with, not least a general election, worries about the impact of Brexit and a failed legal challenge.
“Despite this, we’ve continued to make steady progress and now we have a good idea of how long it will take to complete the build.
“The community stadium will benefit the whole of York with enhanced facilities, and we’ve been able to safeguard the future of Yearsley Pool too.”
Images: York Community Stadium