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Leicestershire, UK
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10 October 2008 | PR 08/140

Beijing medallists mark start of Loughborough University SportPark build

Building of Loughborough University’s unique sports management hub SportPark is to start following an official launch attended by a group of the region’s sporting heroes today (Friday 10 October).

SportPark – a £15m development at the West end of the University campus, was launched with help from Paralympic swimming champion Sam Hynd and two Loughborough students; Olympic silver medallist David Davies and Olympic triathlete Hollie Avil.

Regional Minister for the East Midlands Phil Hope and MP for Loughborough Andy Reed were also on hand to mark the start of the building works.

SportPark will provide modern office accommodation for a variety of sporting organisations in a purpose built centre, which will encourage greater innovation, better sharing of good practice and access to specialist University sports services such as sports science support, sport research and the world-renowned Sports Technology Institute.

Funding from the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), Sport England Lottery Fund, Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council, as well as a substantial investment by the University has made this exciting project possible.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Pearce outlined how SportPark will further Loughborough’s position as the leading centre for sport.

“The Government, Sport England and UK Sport place increasing emphasis on the importance of our national governing bodies for sport,” she said. “This project is a real example of how determined we are at Loughborough to maintain our position as the engine room of sports development in the UK.

“SportPark is an important partnership between the University and the sports governing bodies. It will enable sports organisations to benefit from co-location and to share information and expertise to maximise efficiency.

“Located next to the pioneering Sports Technology Institute, and close to the world class facilities, support services and research offered on campus, SportPark provides the ultimate base for any sports body striving for excellence.”

Swimming national governing body the asa, with performance arm British Swimming, has been confirmed as SportPark’s anchor tenant. Chief Executive David Sparkes is delighted to be the first partner announced.

“We are excited to be working in partnership with Loughborough University and to be playing a significant part in creating SportPark, a unique new concept for British Sport,” he said.

“This development will secure the future of our sport because it will provide a modern, efficient environment from which we can further develop our work and will ensure we deliver our Vision.

The purchase of land for SportPark was made possible by investment from regional agency emda. Chief Executive Jeff Moore believes the development will ensure the region continues be a sport leader.

“emda’s involvement in SportPark is a long term investment in achieving both sporting excellence both on and off the field of play,” he said. “My belief that SportPark will ultimately prove to be one of the region’s greatest sporting legacies is a reflection of the ambition we have for this project.”

Nottinghamshire based building contractors Baggaley Construction are undertaking the work which is due for completion by the end of 2009. More tenants are expected to be announced by the end of the year.

Aerial view of the Sport Park location

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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