Plans for an indoor sports arena in Huddersfield have been unveiled.
It would be a base for the town’s basketball club, Huddersfield Heat, but also provide a venue for music and cultural events.
Officials of Huddersfield Heat insisted the arena would be entirely privately-funded and are now in talks over possible locations.
Club officials are anticipating the project to fall around the £4m mark, but that may vary on the site.
The club said the arena, which will be the permanent home for the town's professional basketball club, will boast state of the art sport, fitness and strength and conditioning provision aimed specifically at performance clubs and athletes, together with a 2,500-seater main arena designed for national and international competition across a number of sports.
The plan forms part of Huddersfield Heat’s long-term ambitions to establish themselves in the professional ranks of the sport, and become one of the forces in UK basketball.
It will also mean a return home for the Heat, after being based out of the town at temporary venues for the last few seasons, most recently playing home matches at Park Lane, in Siddal, Halifax.
Huddersfield and Leeds-based architects Aedas have been working on the design for the arena, and have presented impressive preliminary designs for the interior and exterior of the building.
The club is looking at a number of locations for the arena, and local firm Hanson Chartered Surveyors have been engaged to assist with the search, negotiation and acquisition of the site.
The arena will also form the basis for the club’s application for a franchise with the British Basketball League (BBL) in the near future, with the club already having very positive initial discussions with the league regarding this.
The club will also start the development of a full-time academy, creating a long term player development pathway.
Huddersfield Heat chief executive Eduardo Perez was delighted to announce the news.
“We are delighted to finally share our plans and vision for the future.
“The provision of such a facility for Huddersfield will be a great asset for the town and provide a fantastic indoor sports event venue.
“There will be no cost at all to the taxpayer as this is fully club and private funding that we have sourced.
“This arena is going to be a real bonus to the town for that reason, another great attraction to the town with no impact on the local residents from a tax perspective.
“It will provide the permanent home we have always wanted and needed for the club to grow to professional status, and, as part of that vision, we want to be a member of the BBL and compete at the highest level possible.
“More importantly, it means we can return home to our fans and our town”.
He said the club was hoping to confirm a location in the near future and then proceed with submitting a planning application for the build. They want to start the project in 2014.
Mr Perez added: “The arena will aim to host performance clubs from the town and surrounding areas and the strategy is for it to complement other sports facility development currently in progress in Huddersfield, whilst it will also aim to host a variety of music and other cultural events.
“In addition to the facilities being built, the Heat will expand their operations, with a minimum of 30 new jobs being created and a full time apprenticeship scheme to be started alongside this.
“It will also provide the ideal setting for the club to develop its commercial arm with local partners.”