The start of work on Dundee’s Regional Performance Centre for Sport was marked yesterday at the city’s Caird Park.

The new £32 million facility will feature an indoor athletics centre with an 80m running straight providing all-weather training for athletes.

Caird Park’s existing athletics track is to be resurfaced and a covered spectator area added. The recently resurfaced velodrome is to have a new area of hardstanding provided for competition, with upgraded floodlighting.

An innovative £5m energy centre which allows a district heating capability will also be included in the major construction programme, which is expected to be completed in autumn next year.

Dundee City Council leader, Councillor John Alexander, said: “This ambitious project will provide superb sporting facilities alongside an energy centre that will make a significant contribution to our vision of Dundee as a sustainable city.

“The regional performance centre will bring huge benefits for the city and our people and reflects our drive to make Dundee a better place for all.

“It is designed to support athletes in their development and will help improve the health of our population through participation in sport.”

The Regional Performance Centre for Sport

Councillor Alexander and Councillor Lynne Short, city development convener, were joined by representatives from contractor Balfour Beatty and Leisure & Culture Dundee for the occasion.

Stephen Scott, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s Central Scotland Delivery Unit, said: “We are delighted to join with Dundee City Council to celebrate the start of works to the new Regional Performance Centre for Sport.

“Throughout the project lifecycle, we will work closely with local suppliers and subcontractors to provide real sustainable benefit to the local economy and ultimately provide the community with a first-class sports facility.”

Graham Wark, head of leisure & sport at Leisure & Culture Dundee, added: “We look forward to what will be a top class training and sporting venue for the city and wider region. The Regional performance Centre will complement Dundee’s existing facilities, enabling greater access for local clubs, communities, individuals as well as for elite athletes. This means there will be increased opportunities for children and adults from all backgrounds to get involved in sport and physical activity which is something we particularly welcome.”

A 7-a-side grass football pitch on the site will have open access for use by the local community.

The campus of sports facilities will have a full size indoor/artificial 3G football pitch and outdoor artificial/3G ‘rugby sized’ pitch suitable for both rugby and football.  Facilities are designed to meet FIFA compliance standards for football.

The centre also includes 8 court multi sports hub building with spectator seating, a strength and conditioning suite and a state of the art sport science suite.