New £3.6M archery centre complete in time for Paris 2024
Sport England has finished the construction of a new performance archery facility, bringing together indoor and outdoor ranges on one site at Lilleshall National Sports Centre.
The £3.6 million scheme is the biggest single funded project that Sport England has completed to date, and comes as a result of Britain’s archery success in the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Increased funding ensured the project finished on time to provide a high-standard of training for athletes prior to the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
The official opening of the building is set to take place on the 22nd April 2024.
Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Sport England Executive Director, Place, said: “Sport England is delighted to have invested in the construction of a new dedicated archery facility at our Lilleshall National Sports Centre.
“The facility retains archery as a key long-term site partner providing a world class archery daily training environment for UK Sport’s World Class Programmes, talent pathway athletes as well as being accessible for the wider archery community and contributing towards Sport England’s ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy.”
Designed by DB3 group architects, the ‘L’ shaped building allows for a multi-functional and accessible training centre, which is the first purpose-built facility for Britain’s archery team.
Dr Kate Baker, UK Sport’s Director of Performance, said: “We welcome the creation of this new centre. We are confident that it will provide superb support to the efforts of our Olympic and Paralympic archers as they prepare to shoot for success in Paris and beyond.
“The eco-friendly nature of the facility aligns strongly with UK Sport’s sustainability strategy, which includes a goal for Olympic and Paralympic sport to have a net positive impact on the environment by 2040.
“This facility will play a key role in the development of top-level archery talent in the years ahead.”
One section of the new facility offers windows which open to create a void, converting the space from an indoor shooting area to an outdoor target practice. This design means that athletes no longer have to travel half a mile from the indoor facility to the temporary outdoor facility.
Tom Duggan, Archery GB’s Performance Director, said: “To have a purpose-built performance archery facility is a massive step for the sport at Lilleshall and aligns with our ambitions to redefine performance archery.
“At a practical level, the new centre will increase the number of training hours we have access to, give us better continuity and flexibility around training and reduce the number of training days we lose as a result of the capacity limitations.
“We are extremely grateful for the support and investment from both Sport England and UK Sport in enabling this project to come to fruition and look forward to the impact that this can have on performance archery.”
In addition, the new centre will provide flexibility around training with an increase in the number of training hours the teams have access to, and reduces the number of training days that are lost due to capacity limitations.
Steve Nelson, Serco Operations Director said: “As operators of Lilleshall National Sports Centre since 2011, we have supported Archery GB for well over a decade, during which time we have built a strong collaborative relationship.
“We’re delighted to see this project come to fruition for Archery GB and all the athletes it supports, who will be benefitting from this incredible new performance centre once it opens.”
Constructed by Midlands-based contractor, Speller Metcalfe, the building includes an office, social space, a 70m indoor shooting range, a 70m x 40m outdoor shooting range, changing rooms and other workspace, all of which are accessible for all abilities.
Speller Metcalfe also worked with Archery GB to test the penetration of arrows into various thicknesses of material at 50m and 70m to ascertain the best construction for the wall behind the target line for the indoor range.
Rob Lashford, Divisional Director at Speller Metcalfe, said: We’re delighted to have handed over the new archery centre to Sport England, Archery GB and the athletes. This project has been a success from start to finish and we know that it will support our athletes in their success going forwards.”
Funding for the project came from Sport England and UK Sport, with no membership money used in the project.