A £20 million sports centre in Dundee could be open by 2018.
The city council has begun the process of finding a contractor to build the long-proposed regional performance centre designed to accommodate a number of different sports following more than two years of talks about the project.
The centre will be located at Caird Park, a site that was chosen in September last year by a development group that includes the council, sportscotland and Dundee’s two professional football clubs.
A new document reveals how the centre will cost between £18m and £20m. Work will start next October with a planned completion date of December 2017.
It will provide sports facilities for aspiring and professional athletes at national and regional level, and will also cater for the community.
Plans for the regional centre were announced in 2013 after the city missed out on a bid for a national sports centre, which went to Edinburgh.
Councillor Stewart Hunter, who was on the original steering committee for the centre, said the plans were a cause for optimism in the city and that the centre would benefit all sports, not just football.
He said: “We’ve just had the first meeting and have begun to speak to all the governing bodies across various sports.
“Although football facilities are a big part of the centre, we are looking to make it a key resource for other sports, such as athletics, cycling and rugby, among others. To see the plans coming together at this stage is very exciting, and it will be a great addition for Dundee and the surrounding area.
“Spectator seating is included in the plans partly with a view to hosting sporting events, but also to get the public involved.
“It will give aspiring athletes experience of training and performing in front of spectators, which will prepare them well for competitions.
“As this has been in the pipeline for a while, it is great to see it coming to fruition.”
The centre will feature a main sports building with a multi-sports hall, strength and conditioning and sport science facilities, along with storage and a new sports pavilion.