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University secures planning for £53m sports facility

University of Portsmouth has been given planning permission by Portsmouth City Council, on 20 June 2018, to build a £53 million sports facility, available for student, staff and community use.

The new facility will significantly transform the student experience, promoting health and wellbeing through the provision of a wide range of sports and fitness activities, and strengthen connections with rest of the city. It will also enhance the University’s sport and fitness related research and innovation programmes.

Facilities include an eight-court sports hall, eight-lane 25m swimming pool, fitness suite, multipurpose studios, squash courts, climbing wall and a ski simulator. The building will also have teaching facilities, office space and an underground car park.

Located by the junction of Cambridge Road and Museum Road, the building has been sensitively designed to appear as a pavilion within Ravelin Park. With a predominantly glazed ground floor, users of the pool will feel as if they are swimming in the park. Inside the building there will be views of the wide range of sporting activities with the climbing wall, rising up through the heart of the building.

The project will also include improvements to Ravelin Park, including an entrance plaza between the sports building and the Library, new pedestrian routes, an urban orchard, increasing the number of trees in the park and opening up views to the historic buildings on Museum Road. The design aims to set new standards for sustainability and to be one of the UK’s greenest sports facilities.

Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “This is a very exciting development for the University. We want the very best for our students. This new facility will help us to deliver an outstanding student experience and create a dynamic sporting environment, as well as connecting us with our local community and making a significant contribution to our city.”

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: “Portsmouth is a great sporting city. I’m excited to see this new first-class sports facility being open to the public, as I’ve no doubt it will help students and residents stay fit and healthy and enjoy all the wide-ranging benefits of an active lifestyle. This investment is exactly what I want to see in our great city and it should be applauded and is further evidence that Portsmouth has a bright future.”

Irina Korneychuk, Project Leader at architects FaulknerBrowns, said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of the City Council for this scheme which will bring a new sports facility into Portsmouth. The development is not only looking to promote integration of the University campus with its surroundings, but to deliver wider benefits to the students and local communities.”

Fiona Bell, Estates and Campus Services Director of the University of Portsmouth, said:” I am pleased that we have secured planning consent for the new sports building. It is exciting to be bringing forward the first of our masterplan developments. I am particularly pleased that we are on track to achieve our aspirations of high quality design with the highest sustainability standards.”

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