Investing in a state-of-the-art sports facility
(31 July 2018)
Work has begun on a major new sports and wellbeing facility at the University’s Maiden Castle site in the south west of the City in North East England.
£31 million facility
The £31 million project includes: a new indoor cricket hall; a 12 court multi-use sports hall, suitable for international and national competitions; a martial arts dojo; a fitness suite; purpose-built recovery facilities; and high-performance weights rooms.
Once the new facility is completed, the existing sports centre will be dramatically refurbished – increasing the facilities available for fitness classes and building a specialist sports laboratory.
The improvement works include the construction of a fitness and wellbeing trail from the local Racecourse to the Maiden Castle site
The new facility is expected to be ready in August 2019, at which point the existing Maiden Castle building will be refurbished and ready for use again in winter 2019.
One of the UK’s top sporting universities
Durham is one of the UK’s top sporting universities. Over three quarters of Durham students participate in some form of sport – making it one of the most active Higher Education institutions in the country.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), Owen Adams, said: “Sport can build character and shape personal growth. We strongly believe that investing in sport is an investment in the quality of our future graduates who then go on to help change the world.”
The University has a strong roster of successful sporting alumni, including Andrew Strauss, Nasser Hussain, and Sophie Hosking.
The new site will leave the institution in an ever better position to host major sporting events and competitions. The construction work will build upon that carried out last year and which led to a new rubber crumb sports pitch, upgraded hockey pitches, and improved car parking facilities.
Benefits to the community
The existing centre is already popular with local residents and sports groups – hosting 15 community clubs and engaging more than 2,000 local residents each week.
The University runs a number of junior sports development programmes, including the Durham County Institute of Sport – an initiative supporting around 100 of the County’s most promising young athletes.
Owen Adams continued: “We believe in the extraordinary power of sport and physical activity to bring together people of all backgrounds and abilities – whether they are students, staff, or members of the community.
“Our existing Maiden Castle centre is already very popular with local residents and all of the new facilities will be accessible to the local community on a daily basis. We think this development can be transformative for sport in the city and the surrounding area.”
The commitment to build a large-scale and integrated sports park at Maiden Castle is embedded in Durham University’s Strategy 2017-2027 and is part of a the University’s ‘Estates Masterplan’ programme for developing the Durham estate over the long-term.
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