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Nottingham Investing in the Sports Stars of Tomorrow 10/11/2014

The University of Nottingham has announced plans to invest £40m for a new sports complex at its University Park campus. 

The new complex, which will be called the David Ross Sports Village, is supported by a very significant commitment from Nottingham alumnus and Carphone Warehouse founder — David Ross, taking his total support for the University beyond £10m.

The new development will help deliver the University’s ambition to significantly increase participation in sports at all levels — from encouraging children to experience a range of new sporting pastimes, through to the enhancement of elite performance at a national and international level. At the same time, the University is launching a £3m fundraising appeal to provide equipment, facilities, coaching and bursaries to complement the new centre.

The construction of the new complex will see the comprehensive redevelopment of the existing sports centre to make way for a new building, which will be three times the previous size. The complex will include a new main sports hall, 200 station fitness suite, sports science facilities and office accommodation. The creation of a modern, custom-built sporting infrastructure will play a major role in inspiring increased participation.

It will also incorporate two adjoining and adaptable 10-court sports halls, each offering the flexibility to host two events or more simultaneously or hold one large event in activities as diverse as basketball, handball, netball, indoor hockey, futsal and badminton.

The building is also expected to include a climbing wall, indoor sprint track, strength and conditioning facility, archery and fencing hall, dance studios, snooker hall and martial arts dojo. Squash courts are proposed including a full glass court with spectator seating.

Dan Tilley, Director of Sport at the University, said: “This major investment is part of our ambition to create an outstanding, inspirational and accessible sports infrastructure for students, staff and the wider community. We want to encourage people of all abilities to get involved in sport and activity, and allow them to rub shoulders with and train alongside some of the country’s leading athletes.

“This fantastic new facility will enable us to attract more national and international events to the city of Nottingham. Across the University we have invested £300m in our buildings over the last five years, and this latest project is part of the next phase of development to improve our offering across our campuses.”

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir David Greenaway, said: “This transformational investment into our sports facilities will support us in our ongoing aim to provide access to sport for all, irrespective of ability, in high quality, comprehensive surroundings. The developments signal our intention for sport to be a focus for the student experience, but also to provide outstanding provision for our staff and the local community. I am immensely grateful to David for his contribution which will enable us to achieve our vision for sport at the University.”

David Ross studied Law at Nottingham and continues to be a committed supporter of the University. In 2012, The David Ross Foundation made the lead donation to support the Nottingham Potential programme, a major investment in the future of primary and secondary-age pupils, helping to break down barriers to higher education. David Ross co-chairs the University’s £150m Impact Campaign; Nottingham Potential and the David Ross Sports Village are flagship projects of the campaign.

The donation will be the biggest single gift the University has received from one of its graduates.

Mr Ross said: “I have a deep commitment and affection for The University of Nottingham, and am delighted to support its incredible vision for sport. I have always believed it is essential that all young people have the opportunity to participate in a number of sports at all levels throughout their time in education, be it primary, secondary or further education. As well as supporting this activity at the University, this new Sports Village will also provide partner organisations with a greater range of facilities for all to use and benefit from.”

Construction on the new complex is due to start in February 2015 and completion is expected in June 2016.

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