Lancaster Uni’s £6m sports hall completes

The final phase of the university’s 14,500 sq ft leisure complex has finished, a multi-sports centre for students and the local community.

Conlon Construction was the main contractor on the project led by Lancaster University.

It saw the university’s existing sports facilities extended to offer a sizeable second sports hall hosing a range of full-size courts, including a basketball court and eight badminton courts, as well as retractable seating for more than 500 people.

Earlier phases of the scheme designed by JMArchitects included a swimming pool, gym, squash courts and a climbing wall. The gym features a conditioning suite and performance lab, all completed last year.

The project aimed to address what the university feared was its too-limited capacity for spectators of sporting events, particularly the Roses Tournament, the annual competition between Lancaster and York Universities.

It is also expected to help alleviate wider pressure on teaching space across other university faculties.

Lancaster University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Andy Schofield, said: “The project has been a great success despite the setbacks brought about by Covid-19.

“The building will be a real asset to the university, providing a great setting for sport but also, considering the current pressure on teaching space due to the pandemic, much-needed space to support teaching and exams.”

The additional sports “will give us twice as much capacity”, added the university’s estates and facilities director Andrew Burgess.

Lancaster Uni Sports Hall 2

The sports hall features retractable seating for 500 spectators

Conlon delivered 10 weeks of work placements on the project to six students from Lancaster & Morecambe College and Newman College in Preston, as part of Lancaster City Council’s Employment and Skills Plan to offer education and training opportunities to young people, to help them secure meaningful employment.

There is no set opening date yet, as the university is awaiting Government guidance on when gyms, swimming pools and other public facilities can reopen after months of lockdown.

Neil Conlon, director for Conlon Construction, said: “When this sports hall can open its doors fully to the public, we will be sound in the knowledge that we did more than simply construct a building; we have made an immediate and long-term difference to the Lancaster economy and its young people.”

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