A major redevelopment of Don Valley Stadium, described as the "biggest Olympic legacy project outside London", was unveiled by former sports minister Richard Caborn in Sheffield on Tuesday morning.
Plans for the site of the condemned stadium, which produced Olympic champion Jessica Ennis, include a refurbished Woodburn Road athletics track, a high-performance centre and new homes for Sheffield Eagles and Titans rugby clubs.
The decision to close and demolish the £29million Don Valley Stadium as part of council cost-cutting measures was announced earlier this month and drew criticism from Ennis and her coach Toni Minichiello. Caborn is confident Tuesday's announcement will win over the critics, although plans are currently at the embryonic stage.
Addressing a news conference at the neighbouring English Institute of Sport, Caborn said: "This is the result of intensive work by a small group of significant organisations in the Sheffield city region to consider a future for the Don Valley Stadium.
"It is a unique scheme which has already received funding to go to the feasibility stage."
Caborn, who began to explore the plans in January, told the conference the development could be completed at a cost of around £40million and that the new 12,000-capacity rugby stadium could be ready by the summer of 2015.
He said the plans also include facilities for gymnastics and basketball and a venue to stage qualifying matches for the World Snooker Championship at the city centre Crucible.
However, Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore sounded a note of caution in admitting that no council funding would be available for the project.
"It is an idea so we do need the full costings and the full timetable, so the next stage is to agree to do a feasibility study," she told the conference.
"We are determined to find a solution for Sheffield and this is an opportunity to do that, but it needs to be sustainable long term."
https://www.sheffield.gov.uk(Sheffield City Council website)