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Beijing medalists mark start of Loughborough University SportPark build

10 October 2008

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.

SportPark – a £15m development at the West end of the 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. He said: “emda’s involvement in SportPark is a long term investment in achieving both sporting excellence both on and off the field of play. 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.

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