Construction of first class student sports facility at UWE

Issue date: 20 July 2005

Issue date: 19/07/05

Construction work has now begun on a major new indoor sports facility at the University of the West of England’s Frenchay Campus in Bristol.
The sports hall is part of the University’s £80m development which includes accommodation for nearly 2,000 students due to open in September 2006. Construction work is being carried out by main contractor, Carillion Building.

The sports hall – the size of eight badminton courts – will benefit from underfloor heating and will have the very latest technology such as centrally controlled heating and lighting.

The new sports hall will enable the University to host regional level sporting events in addition to inter-University student competition such as basketball, volleyball and badminton. Top level individual performers will benefit from an extensive upgrade to on campus training facilities. The facilities will also be available for external users and to those from the local community.

The new facilities comprise:
• A main hall, with a viewing gallery, which can cater for: basketball, volleyball, badminton, 5-a-side football, trampolining, indoor hockey, netball and cricket.

• An aerobics studio on the first floor with a wooden sprung floor will host a variety of exercise classes and will also be used for dance.

• A new state of the art multi-fitness suite with cardiovascular, resistance machines and free weights. This area will also benefit from audio visual entertainment while people exercise.

• Two glass backed squash courts

• Indoor and outdoor changing facilities.

• A physiology lab for testing and monitoring performance of elite and club level athletes.

• A café area will provide light refreshments to all visitors to the facility.

Mike Hibbert, Director of Sport and Recreation at UWE says, “This excellent new facility will provide a great venue for UWE sports teams – bringing indoor and outdoor sports (on the artificial pitch) together for the first time. Being able to play BUSA competitions for basketball, badminton, squash, hockey and volleyball on the Frenchay Campus will be a great morale booster for our teams. We have had some great sporting successes in recent years – such as the excellent performance of our rowing club, but these new facilities will be a great boost for students both in terms of training and morale.

“We will also be able to run more programmes to train students as qualified coaches and referees and to build on our work with the local community making links with external clubs and offering them coaching and training.”

As a sport, Badminton stands to gain a big boost from the new facilities. Toby Honey, a final year student from the Faculty of the Built Environment and currently ranked fourth in the UK for Senior Men’s Badminton, says he is delighted that his sport will be getting a home venue on the Frenchay Campus, “The opportunity to train on campus rather than travel outside of Bristol will be a great help in making life easier for me and other student athletes.”

Mike Hibbert says the facilities will bring fitness and health benefits to all UWE students, particularly the 2,000 students who will be living in the new student village from September 2006, “The student village residents will have the opportunity to take part in intra-mural sports competitions and an enhanced range of recreational activities. There will also be taster sessions for students to try out various activities for the first time. Following the recent success of our ‘Health Awareness weeks for Staff and Students,’ the new facility will allow the expansion of this programme and an increase in our level of service.”


Editors notes:
• BUSA – British University Sports Association.

• The new Sports Hall will be staffed by approximately 20 members of staff providing services such as sports development, exercise classes, instruction and coaching.

• The foundations for the sports hall have now been laid and the steel work is due to arrive over the next few weeks – over 270 tons of steel will be delivered to the Frenchay Campus. The roof trusses, due to arrive in August, are 18 metres long and two are joined together to create a 36 metre roof truss.
• Construction of the student village is progressing well, with the concrete structures for the six and seven story buildings now in place and work has begun on the first fixing.
• A photo diary of building progress can be seen at:
• The project is being built by Carillion plc, designed by Building Design Partnership (BDP), and managed by Capita Symonds.

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