Plans to develop a Global Sports Hub centred at Loughborough received a boost with the announcement today that SportPark on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) will undergo a £6m expansion.

The project will create a fourth pavilion of 2,000 sqm floorspace to the five-storey building which houses the UK’s highest concentration of sports governing bodies and national sports organisations.  SportPark’s expansion will directly support 165 jobs with an additional 157 induced jobs in the wider economy, stimulating further demand to bring sports related businesses to the region.

It is one of four key infrastructure projects which the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) will deliver as part of the Getting Building Fund. Projects were chosen based on their impact on the region’s economic growth, both in the short and long-term, and their strategic fit to current economic priorities. Two further infrastructure projects will be delivered in the City of Leicester. The government requested “shovel-ready” schemes that can start immediately so the aim is to get projects off the ground as quickly as possible.

Professor 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.”

The LLEP will also allocate a further £1.8m to the Junction 23 M1 A512 access improvement scheme as part of the Getting Building Fund.

Professor Bhamra added: “LUSEP is already one of the most accessible science parks in the UK, located one mile from Junction 23 of the M1. The road improvements will create a further access point, even closer to the M1. This is particularly welcome news as LUSEP’s expansion continues, as part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “We are delighted to receive this investment for Leicester and Leicestershire. 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 was 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 over-arching 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.