A ‘world class’ athletics track could be opened at Moulton College in under a year’s time, providing a new home for the town’s athletics club.
The Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club needs to relocate as part of a deal to redevelop Sixfields Stadium, as the land it uses forms part of the development site.
The club has been working with Northampton Borough Council and Moulton College to find a new home, and proposals have been drawn up for a new facility on the college campus.
Stephen Davies, principal of Moulton College, said if everything went to plan, work would start next spring, with the facility available for use by August or September.
None of the parties involved were willing to discuss the cost of the project, which will leave the athletics club without a track for one season.
Mr Davies said: “We are used to big developments at the college. This is an opportunity to provide a world class facility for the future of our college and is also about promoting the health and well-being of our students.”
Mark Exley, chairman of Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club, added: “It is an opportunity for us to move into a state-of-the-art facility. We have achieved a lot this year on a national and regional basis, and the facility would be befitting of the status of the club.
“We want a facility we can grow with.”
Northampton Borough Council leader, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said: “We have found a solution which enables us to build a first-class athletics facility for the town, and at the same time help the Cobblers.”
Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris added: “This is a fantastic sports college and this is fantastic for the area. Hopefully our next Olympians will come from here.”
Northampton Town FC chairman, David Cardoza, said: “It is a win-win situation for all parties. The athletics club themselves needed improved facilities and this move sees them add to the impressive stable of sporting talent on a local, national and international level who use the facilities at Moulton College.”
The £12 million Sixfields deal will see the capacity of the stadium increased, and a hotel, gym and 300 new houses built on neighbouring land.
The homes will be built on the land currently occupied by the athletics club.