Loughborough University’s SportPark is to undergo a £6m expansion after it received crucial investment from the government’s post-Covid building fund.
The government finance has secured the extension of Loughborough’s specialist sports industry facility, which sits on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP). The development furthers the university’s ambition of becoming a global sports hub.
The government’s Getting Building Fund called for “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects. The university scheme was one of four county projects supported by a bid to the fund from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
SportPark already has the critical mass of the sports sector’s governing bodies and national organisations so its expansion is a natural step
– Prof Tracy Bhamra
The project will expand the five-storey SportPark and provide an additional 2,000 square metres of floor space. It will also directly support 165 jobs and create a further 157 jobs in the regional economy, the university said. SportPark houses the UK’s highest concentration of sports governing bodies and national sports organisations; it’s hoped the expansion will lure more sports-related businesses to the region.
Prof Tracy Bhamra, Loughborough University pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise said: “SportPark already has the critical mass of the sports sector’s governing bodies and national organisations so its expansion is a natural step to create a vibrant focal point for the Global Sports Hub.
“A growing number of sports innovation businesses have launched at or relocated to LUSEP, attracted to the collaborative environment and access the university’s world-leading expertise in sports science, engineering, health and well-being and high-performance athlete base.”
Kevin Harris, chair of the LLEP board of directors, said: “The LLEP Board had to make some difficult decisions very quickly as we had originally submitted projects totalling £90 million to government for consideration and were subsequently allocated £20 million to share between local projects.
“These projects will start to transform the future infrastructure of our city and county very quickly. Our overarching aims will be to help get business moving again, to kick start our economy and to increase prosperity for all who live and work in Leicester and Leicestershire.”