New multi-million-pound training environment officially opened at Loughborough University (VIDEO)

a group shot at powerbase

Loughborough University has officially opened the doors to its brand-new Powerbase gym extension following significant financial investment.

Officially opened on Tuesday 28 March 2023 by UK Sport CEO Sally Munday, the new facility spans a combined 3,200 m2 , doubling the size of the University’s elite strength and conditioning environment home to Loughborough’s multiple Olympic, Paralympic and World Champions.

The world-leading gym space has been equipped with the highest level of training equipment from a variety of sport’s leading gym providers and is fully integrated with the latest technology and training equipment.

The new venue has been developed in collaboration with partners from PLAE, BLKBOX, Life Fitness, Eleiko, Output Sports, VALD and Technogym.

From its outset the facility has been designed to be fully inclusive and accessible, setting new benchmarks in the sector. Key accessibility designs include entry through new wide access Speed Gates, no raised platforms, increased space around equipment and a single level training environment. 

Platform and equipment colour and contrast differentiation has been incorporated throughout to support athletes with visual impairments. 

Focus groups with practitioners from national governing bodies, EIS (English Institute of Sport) and Loughborough Sport has helped to define new accessible rack designs from BLKBOX. These innovations include moving weights to a one level central toaster storage design, wider dip bars and moveable pull up bars – all key innovations to allow easier access and training for wheelchair users. 

The new space includes 46 lifting platforms (combined from both sides of the gym), 8 fully instrumented racks and platforms with integrated VALD force plates, Output Sports velocity-based training systems, and the latest in Performance Analysis technology.

Designed to be a hub for world-leading academic development and athletic achievement, the training space has been created as a robust environment for elite-level sport with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 now well on the horizon.

The upper mezzanine of the facility, covering 500 m2 , is also now home to the University’s Boxing Centre of Excellence and the Athletic Union Boxing club. The state-of-the-art dedicated venue includes two brand-new boxing rings measuring at 20ft and 14ft respectively.  

Jo Simpson, Commercial and Facilities Director for Loughborough Sport, said: “This new facility further enhances the world-leading sporting infrastructure at Loughborough University. We’ve worked with our partners to set a new benchmark for accessible and instrumented training environments. 

“Together we have created one of the world’s leading elite strength and conditioning centres. It will enable students, athletes, and squads the opportunity to train together without compromise, whilst creating an important teaching and research environment for our academic ambitions globally.

“Already we are seeing the positive impact of this new facility. With innovations in accessible training equipment being implemented across our partners networks and longer-term research projects helping to create more accessible training environments across the sector. 

“I am incredibly proud of the whole team and our wider network of partners who have worked to create this sector defining facility.”

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, said: “Today underlines the important role that Loughborough’s facilities play in the UK sport ecosystem. 

“Through continual development, innovation, and sector-leading thinking, this incredible new facility will undoubtedly be of great benefit to the future of sport nationwide.

“Not only will this world-leading training environment inspire individual users and campus partners, but it will also provide a long-term impact through both academic research and wider campus inclusivity including our Para sport offer.

“As we look ahead to Paris 2024 and beyond, the whole university community will be immensely proud to see athletes who train within this facility competing on the global stage.”

Powerbase will continue to host Loughborough’s network of 15 performance partners and national governing bodies, including British Weightlifting, NFL Academy, LTA, and the English Institute of Sport.

The University’s wider student body will also benefit from the facility which will be open to all Loughborough Sport gold members.

For more information on Powerbase, visit its website here: