Community groups and elite athletes alike can once again make use of world-class facilities after Lilleshall National Sports Centre completed a £1 million refurbishment of its artistic gym.
Funded by us, the makeover has taken three months and opened yesterday to ensure a top-class training environment was maintained for regional, club and community use – not to mention Olympic hopefuls.
In 2018/19 more than 40,000 young gymnasts from local clubs and schools used the centre for training and competition, with Lilleshall also being a base for coach development and education programmes.
And our executive director of property, Charles Johnston, was pleased we could play our part in the refurbishment of what is one of three national centres we own.
He said: "We’re delighted to have funded the update and refurbishment of the gymnastics centre at Lilleshall to incorporate the latest world class facilities.
“These will not only assist our elite gymnasts but also support future talent and grassroots programmes - enabling British Gymnastics to drive community participation together with expanded coach development and education programmes.
“Congratulations to all those involved in delivering such an exciting development.”
The artistic gym is one of multiple facilities at Lilleshall – a flagship residential training centre and award-winning National Centre of Excellence – including nine grass pitches, two synthetic pitches and two multi-purpose sports halls, among many others.
These facilities will not only assist our elite gymnasts but also support future talent and grassroots programmes
Sport England executive director of property
And the refurbishment will allow British Gymnastics and Serco to increase the number of annual users, as well as beefing up their coach development and education offer.
Jane Allan, chief executive of British Gymnastics, said: “British Gymnastics is extremely grateful for the invaluable support from Sport England, Serco and Gymnova for making this possible.
“I look forward to seeing more of our gymnasts making use of the new facility in the coming months as our preparations step up towards Tokyo 2020.”
The new gym was opened on Wednesday by dignitaries from the British Olympic Association and British Gymnastics, as well as Rio Olympian Ellie Downie and our own chair, Nick Bitel.
“Sport England is delighted to have funded the refurbishment of the gymnastics centre at Lilleshall to incorporate the latest world class facilities,” he said.
“It is our hope that as well as providing elite gymnasts with the resources they need ahead of Tokyo it will inspire the next generation of British gymnasts and drive greater community participation in the sport.”