Rain puts opening off-track.
Byline: Sarah Dale Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
WET and windy weather has delayed the opening of the new Middlesbrough Sports Village.
The 400m athletics track is one of the key features of the PS18m facility and had been due to open last week.
But persistent damp and windy conditions have prevented the contractor from completing the final technical stages of applying the specialised running surface.
It is hoped the work will be completed shortly, when the track will open for public use with temporary changing facilities, ahead of the opening of the Sports Village Hub in the spring.
Key elements of the new Sports Village include an athletics field and stadium featuring track and spectator seating, a full-size artificial pitch along with grass football pitches, four five-a-side artificial pitches and a fitness gym and sports hall offering multi-functional sports and performance spaces.
Work on a new 250m outdoor velodrome is also due to start next year.
In the meantime Middlesbrough Council is working with local athletics clubs to ensure they have alternative training facilities nearby until the track is ready for use.
A council spokesman said: "This will be a fantastic facility for the people of Middlesbrough and the region as a whole, and we are determined that all work on it will be carried out to the highest possible standard.
"It is therefore critical that the final work on the track is undertaken in the right conditions to ensure it is fit for purpose and has the longest possible life.
"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank members of the public for their patience.
"This will be a first class facility of regional importance, and we look forward to opening it to the public at the earliest opportunity."
The grand-|stand and track under construction at Middlesbrough Sports Village, left, where the weather has delayed the final technical stages of applying the
specialised running surface. The artist impression, inset left, shows what it should look like when finished. Work under way at the site last month, below