Work is underway to build a new specialist badminton centre in Newcastle??s West End which could help to produce a new generation of Olympic stars on Tyneside.
Designed by North East practice Gradon Architecture and built by STP construction, Tyneside Badminton Centre in Slatyford will be the largest of its kind to be built in the region and will host international competitions.
Constructed over 27,000 square feet and housing nine high-quality badminton courts, the £950,000 new centre will aim to help increase participation in the sport and look to promote health and fitness opportunities within the local community.
Featuring a viewing gallery, gym, therapy suites and a café, the development also includes the refurbishment of an under utilised youth centre building as an extension to the facilities on offer.
Mike Woodward, a former England junior national coach and operations director at Tyneside Badminton Centre, said: ?The development of Tyneside Badminton Centre marks a significant moment for badminton in the North East. Not only will the Centre help us to raise more awareness of the sport and increase participation, but it will also attract internationally recognised teams to the region.
?The level of investment we??ve seen from partners to get this project off the ground, as well as the amazing support of local volunteers just shows that the Olympic legacy is alive on Tyneside. The world class facilities that we can now offer will also have a positive impact on developing exciting young talent for the future.??
Part funded by BADMINTON England, SPORT England and matched by private local investment, the Centre is due for completion in August – in time for the new badminton season.
Once complete, the Centre will offer a range of opportunities to the local community including coaching and performance training for groups and individuals, bookings for junior and adult clubs, a disability club and sessions for the over-50s. It will also offer additional opportunities in a range of other complementary sports and activities such as yoga, pilates, table tennis and martial arts.
Stu Kent, project architect at Gradon Architecture, said: ?Unlike most sport centres that are multi-functional spaces, our bespoke design for Tyneside Badminton Centre has created a facility dedicated to the sport that will enhance the experience on offer for players taking part.
?Everything from lighting and colour, to the materials that we used were considered to help players focus on their game. As well as helping to refurbish an under utilised community building, we have also delivered a sport facility that fits into the local community with the opportunity for future expansion.??
Adrian Christy, chief executive at BADMINTON England, said: ?BADMINTON England is pleased to support this innovative project to create a dedicated badminton centre of regional significance in an area that has always shown strong demand for badminton.
?The Tyneside Badminton Centre illustrates how our sport can offer people and buildings an exciting new future. We look forward to working with the centre to introduce some of our great new development programmes to the people of Tyneside.??
Graham Urwin, contracts manager at STP Construction, said: ?We have worked in close partnership with Gradon and Tyneside Badminton Centre for the last two years in helping to get this project off the ground. That??s why it??s really pleasing to see that the team??s hard work is now coming to fruition as we near the completion of this excellent facility. We have no doubt that once complete, the new Tyneside Badminton Centre will provide a fantastic facility for the area.??