Created by Hamilton Architects
Hamilton Architects complete £21.75m design transformation of Olympia Leisure Centre for Belfast City Council
The £21.75m transformation of Olympia Leisure Centre, Belfast, into a modern 21st century complex designed by Hamilton Architects, is now complete.
The new outdoor facilities adjoin the new NI National Football Stadium at olympia Park, which wasa also designed by Hamilton Architects.
Olympia’s facilities include a multi-use games area, play park, artwork and a tree lined boulevard which presents an attractive entrance to both Olympia and olympia Park.
Mark Haslett, Partner and Project Leader, said: “Hamilton Architects are delighted to have delivered the design for Olympia, the most modern, state of the art leisure and sports facility anywhere in Northern Ireland.
“The is just the latest project to add to our extensive sports design portfolio, which includes the recently opened €4m Hunt Stand at Punchestown Race Course, Kingspan Rugby Stadium, and multi award-winning greyhound racing stadia.”
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey was joined at the official opening – which marks another step forward in Belfast City Council’s 10-year, £105m, Leisure Transformation Programme – by members of the Irish Football Association, Linfield FC, and local community and sports groups.
Councillor Hargey said: “These new facilities are a major boost for the local community, offering opportunities to improve the health and well-being for all ages with the play-park, multi-use games area and 3G pitch.
“The new John Stewart Bell pedestrian entrance, named after the noted physicist from Tate’s Avenue, offers easier access, while the Ralf Sander artwork – funded by the Department for Communities and highlighting the link between football and physics – adds to the attractiveness.
“We are working with communities across the city as we undertake the Leisure Transformation Programme to improve the health and well-being of those who live, work or visit here in line with the Belfast Agenda – the long-term development plan for the city.
“We know that working in partnership with others is the best way to help us fulfil our ambitions. The involvement of the IFA and Linfield FC ensures that the local community experience concrete benefits from hosting the National Football Stadium at olympia Park.”
Olympia Leisure Centre itself re-opened to the public last year and has attracted people from across Belfast to its exceptional facilities.
The Stadium Community Benefits Initiative has already set-up a walking football club and Futsal club and BCC is continuing to build on the attraction by marketing two sites on the Boucher Road for commercial development.
Work is ongoing to provide new leisure facilities in other BCC areas, including the new Robinson, Andersonstown and Brook Centres, which are all due to open next year.
President of the Irish Football Association, David Martin, said: “I would like to congratulate Belfast City Council on the completion of the fantastic new Olympia complex.
“These facilities are state of the art and I have no doubt that they will be a positive addition to the sporting life of the city. I am particularly pleased with the new tree-lined boulevard, which creates a wonderful new entrance to the stadium, the new centre and the outdoor facilities.
“The National Football Stadium at olympia Park is for everyone in Northern Ireland and the new avenue from the Boucher Road will offer an impressive welcome to both local and international fans.”
Linfield FC President, Peter Lunn, said: “Linfield Football Club is privileged to be a partner with the Belfast City Council in facilitating this exciting major development of a Sports Village Complex around the new National Stadium at olympia Park.
“This project has provided a facility at the new realigned Midgley Park that meets the standards required by the Intermediate and Women’s Premier Leagues, ensures a first-rate training facility for all the club teams, and gives opportunity for Linfield to engage with the local community in a variety of novel ways.”