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New £3.6m Performance Archery Centre opens

We’ve funded the new facility at Lilleshall, which will be used by both elite archers and the community, with support from UK Sport.

A new Performance Archery Centre has officially opened at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, in Shropshire.

The £3.6 million facility, which we funded with support from UK Sport, will be used by Olympic and Paralympic archers as their daily elite training environment in the run up to the Paris 2024 Games. 

Community activity including grassroots sport will also take place at the centre, offering a new space for local people to be active as part of our long-term Uniting the Movement strategy.

And as the home of British performance archery, it will also serve as a base for Talent Pathway athletes aiming to get onto UK Sport’s World Class archery programme and the National Compound Squad.

Representatives from the world of sport were invited to the grand opening on Monday, along with a local archery club, which ran a taster session for schoolchildren to try archery and meet some of the athletes heading to Paris this year. 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, our executive director of place, said: "This dedicated Performance Archery Centre will give elite archers the greatest opportunity to prepare and compete on the world stage. 

"The centre provides talent development archers access to world-class training facilities, whilst also making archery accessible to community groups and organisations and helping more people to enjoy the benefits of living active lives.

"We’re looking forward to seeing people from all backgrounds and communities coming together in this facility to enjoy archery activities. In aiming to inspire and attract a future generation of archers, it's been fantastic to see young children from local schools giving the sport a go this morning."
 

"The centre makes archery accessible to community groups and organisations and helps more people to enjoy the benefits of living active lives. We’re looking forward to seeing people from all backgrounds and communities coming together in this facility to enjoy archery activities."

Lisa Dodd-Mayne

Executive director of place, Sport England

 

Archery GB have been based at Lilleshall, which is owned by our subsidiary the Sports Council Trust Company, for over 20 years.

We’ve previously funded the re-purposing of a sports hall and synthetic football surface as an archery facility, but over time the environment couldn't be further redeveloped to achieve the standards needed for a modern elite daily training environment. 

Adding a dedicated archery facility to Lilleshall’s onsite facilities – which include elite athlete support services, catering, accommodation, conferencing and offices – means Lilleshall now provides a single-site solution for all archery activities. 

The new facility features a 70m indoor and outdoor shooting range, enabling year-round shooting, changing rooms, coaching and training support areas, toilets, and car and cycle parking. Facilities are on the same level and are fully inclusive and accessible.

The centre has a number of green initiatives including an array of south-facing solar panels on the roof, along with additional battery storage to ensure the benefit is gained all year round.

Hot water is generated via air source heat pumps, which are located externally to avoid the building requiring any kind of gas supply. The heat pumps ensure the building increases its energy efficiency and reduces its carbon footprint.

Dr Kate Baker, UK Sport’s performance director, said: “We’re excited about the opening of the new centre; we think it can be a real game changer for our Olympic and Paralympic archers, both in the run-in to Paris and looking ahead to LA and Brisbane. 

“The ability to have focused time on task in a world-class daily training environment is a key part of any world-class programme, which this new facility delivers with its combined indoor and outdoor ranges. 

“The eco-friendly nature also aligns strongly with our sustainability strategy; our goal for sports to have a net positive impact on the environment by 2040 is boosted by it.”

The project was completed during the winter season to give elite athletes the best possible preparations for this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

The collaborative approach between us, UK Sport, Serco and Archery GB to deliver this facility means the governing body remains a long-term key partner at Lilleshall.

Archery GB have also relocated into new offices on the site to enable staff to have a permanent base close to the new performance centre.

The athletes moved into the new centre in early December, with four of them chosen at random to shoot the first arrows - the indoor ones being shot by Olympian Tom Hall and Para archer Jamie Harris, while the outdoor ones came from Paralympic champion Phoebe Paterson Pine and World Class Programme athlete Alex Wise. 

Today’s official opening saw the naming of the indoor range in honour of Margaret Maughan, a trailblazer of the Paralympic movement while the new outdoor range pays tribute to Simon Terry, the first British archer to win two medals at an Olympic Games. 

Further reaction

Tom Duggan, performance director, Archery GB

"Margaret Maughan was our first ever British Paralympic gold medallist at the 1960 Paralympic Games and Simon Terry was one of our most successful Olympic athletes, winning an individual and team medal in Barcelona in 1992, so we thought it was fitting to recognise their contribution to the sport.

"I’d like to thank Sport England, UK Sport and Serco for the opportunity to create a purpose-built Performance Archery Centre and to Speller Metcalfe and Abacus for the work that they did in helping us build the centre."

Nathan MacQueen, British Paralympic archer 

"I truly believe it's the best facility in the world for archery and that it belongs to us is just amazing. It was just like Christmas come early (to get a first look inside). I could have pinched myself to be shooting out there.

"It's going to be a good building block for everything going on for the future of archery in Britain."

Bryony Pitman, British Olympic archer

"I think there’s an element of us being able to shoot with the compound Paras, their recurves being able to shoot with us. It’s something that can benefit everybody and help everybody progress but also just make us part of one big team rather than two separate programmes.

"It’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in!"

Channel website: http://www.sportengland.org/

Original article link: https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-inspiration/new-performance-archery-centre-opens-lilleshall

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