Downham Road site of proposed Ely leisure centre to undergo 'necessary' archaeological dig

PUBLISHED: 14:08 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:04 16 May 2016

Archaeological dig on proposed Ely Leisure Centre site. Leanne Robinson Zeki and Cllr Richard Hobbs

Archaeological dig on proposed Ely Leisure Centre site. Leanne Robinson Zeki and Cllr Richard Hobbs

Archant

An archaeological dig is to begin at the proposed home of Ely's leisure centre in an attempt to unearth its 'archaeological potential.'

Archaeological dig on proposed Ely Leisure Centre site. Leanne Robinson Zeki and Cllr Richard HobbsArchaeological dig on proposed Ely Leisure Centre site. Leanne Robinson Zeki and Cllr Richard Hobbs

The 2.8 hectare site on Downham Road will be subject to 13 weeks of digging beginning this week, as requested by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The work will be carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Cambridge Archaeological Unit on the site, as it is located in an area of ‘high archaeological potential,’ according to the council.

Cllr Richard Hobbs, Chairman of the Commercial Services Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “Work has not yet commenced on building the new leisure centre as the proposal is yet to go before Full Council.

“People may notice diggers on the site as the archaeological dig is taking place. This is a first and necessary step for the site if the building of the new leisure centre is to go ahead. It is, of course, very important to preserve any archaeological finds before any potential building work begins at the site.

“I sincerely hope that the proposed leisure centre does go ahead as the whole community of East Cambridgeshire is a rapidly growing area and it would be a fantastic resource for the community.

“We have a wonderful historic city and we love to welcome tourists into the area, but now I hope we will put something back into the community for our residents to enjoy.”

If building goes ahead, the leisure centre will offer an eight-lane, 25 metre swimming pool, dance studios, a four-court sports hall, an all weather pitch, a 120 station cardio gym and a number of shops and restaurants.

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