£9m sustainable SportPark expansion on Science and Enterprise Park nears completion

A topping out ceremony has taken place to celebrate the latest milestone in the creation of a 2,000 sq m four-storey fourth pavilion to expand SportPark, the multi award-winning development on the University campus.

The £9m project on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) is being built to Passivhaus Classic Accreditation to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

The first Passivhaus development on the University campus, SportPark Pavilion 4 presents sports organisations with the unique opportunity to secure environmentally future-proof accommodation, tailored to their needs. It will enable occupants to reduce their carbon footprint thanks to highly efficient heat pumps, opening triple-glazed windows, solar shading to avoid summer overheating as well as a well-insulated building fabric to minimise heat loss.

Passivhaus consultants Beyond Carbon Associates hail the development as “an exciting, future-facing building, treading lightly on our planet’s resources using Passivhaus energy conservation, solar PV and a climate resilient design to manage future heat waves.”

Representatives from Loughborough University, SportPark Pavilion 4 project team, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and UK Anti-Doping at the topping out ceremony. The oak tree will be planted in the grounds of SportPark, adding to the established native species of tree and hedgerow.Representatives from Loughborough University, SportPark Pavilion 4 project team, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and UK Anti-Doping at the topping out ceremony. The oak tree will be planted in the grounds of SportPark, adding to the established native species of tree and hedgerow.

Loughborough University is fully committed to decarbonising its estate to meet the Government’s zero carbon target by 2050, with considerable progress by 2040. SportPark Pavilion 4 will project the University’s forward looking, environmentally conscious values, delivering significant benefits to its occupants.

SportPark already houses the UK’s highest concentration of sports governing bodies and national sports organisations. The latest organisation to join is UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), having relocated its central office from London in May 2021, as part of its new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. UKAD is the anchor tenant of SportPark Pavilion 4, occupying the entire third storey.

Professor Mike Caine, Loughborough University Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Sport, said: “SportPark is a tremendous asset to the University and wider region – housing complementary organisations, working in partnership with the University, and harnessing the power of sport to benefit communities, locally, nationally, and around the world. SportPark Pavilion 4 will provide the capacity to welcome yet more mission-driven organisations to the University, and to reinforce the East Midlands region’s potential as a global sports innovation hub, with Loughborough at its heart.”

“The SportPark expansion coincides with a growing number of innovation and technology-led sports businesses launching at, or relocating to, LUSEP, attracted to the collaborative environment and access to the University’s world-leading expertise in sports science, engineering, health and well-being, high-performance athlete base, and sports infrastructure.”

SportPark Pavilion 4 is delivered by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) as part of the Getting Building Fund (GBF). Funds were designated for investment in local, shovel-ready infrastructure projects to stimulate jobs and support economic recovery across the country. The LLEP was allocated £20m, supporting the SportPark 4 project with £6m.

A separate £1.8m GBF allocation helped fund improvements at Junction 23 and the A512, which links the M1 with Loughborough. It makes LUSEP one of the most accessible science parks in the UK.

Andy Reed OBE, Interim Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “Loughborough University's global reputation for sport brings tremendous opportunities for us all and, through this fourth pavilion, provides new jobs and opportunity for further growth across a range of services.

“This latest project directly supports 165 jobs, with more than 150 in the wider economy. Importantly, it also helps create further demand to bring sports-related organisations and businesses to the region.

“On a separate note, it’s really pleasing for me personally to see the continued development of SportPark. I was fortunate to be involved in creating the vision of a sports cluster at the University for the first phases of the development back in the mid-2000s. It's wonderful to see it continue going from strength to strength.”

Henry Brothers Midlands are leading the project to build SportPark Pavilion 4. Managing Director, Ian Taylor, said: “SportPark Pavilion 4 is an exciting Passivhaus development which is supporting Loughborough University’s plans to decarbonise its estate to meet the Government’s zero carbon target by 2050.

“It also builds on Henry Brothers’ growing portfolio of environmentally sound schemes and we are very pleased to have reached this milestone this important development for the University.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/135


Situated on Loughborough University campus on its Science and Enterprise Park, LUSEP, SportPark was launched in 2010 with support from Government, Sport England, Charnwood Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council. SportPark was the first building on campus to achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rating. David Morley Architects designed SportPark and Pavilion 4.

For further details of SportPark, visit www.lusep.co.uk/sport-park.

For further details of SportPark Pavilion 4, visit www.lusep.co.uk/sportpark-pavilion4

Getting Building Fund 

On 4 August 2020, the government confirmed the list of over 300 successful projects which will receive a share of £900 million from the Getting Building Fund. The full list of projects is available on GOV.UK. 

The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country. Projects funded include:

• regeneration of town and city centres 

• green infrastructure and clean energy 

• transport and digital connectivity improvements 

• unlocking of housing and business sites 

• support for SMEs and learners 

The successful projects are expected to deliver up to 85,000 jobs, over 1,500,000 sqm of commercial floor space, unlocking 45,000 homes, almost 1,000,000 sqm of public realm or green space improved or created, over 50,000 new learners assisted, and 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions saved. 

All projects have been selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary. 

Midlands Engine 

Some Midlands Engine key facts: 

• The Midlands Engine is home to over 10.3m people and has a £238bn economy, generating over 12% of the UK’s Gross Value Added. The Midland Engine Partnership aims to close the productivity gap to match or exceed the national average by 2030. 

• The Midlands is home to 835,000 businesses, and in 2019, the Midlands accounted for a 22% share of all of England’s goods exports. 

Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd (LLEP)

The LLEP is a strategic body established to drive forward regeneration and growth of the local economy. The LLEP works with partners and Government to set out key investment priorities for Leicester & Leicestershire. It also invests funding and aligns partner resources through its investments, and it influences and drives activities that ensure positive outcomes for the local economy. To find out more, visit www.llep.org.uk 

Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.