Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence has opened a new £20m sports complex, which integrates its existing facilities with a host of brand new features.
ALTHOUGH currently closed due to the pandemic, the facilities welcomed their first users at the end of 2020 and provided a positive end to a year which also saw Stirling named UK Sports University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2020.Designed by FaulknerBrowns architects, the scheme links all facilities under one roof. The new building includes a purpose-built studio space, innovative fitness suite with add-on multi-use studio, additional three-court sports hall, strength and conditioning area, as well as a new high performance suite. Users of the building also benefit from enhanced changing facilities and communal spaces. The existing 50m Olympic swimming pool, six-court indoor tennis courts and eight-court sports hall are all connected as part of the new building.
Surrounded by an eye-catching glass exterior envelope, the facilities enjoy equipment from leading brands including Technogym, BLK BOX, Eleiko and Outrace located across the fitness suite, strength and conditioning and high performance areas, along with customised PLAE flooring.A brand new leisure management and access control system underpins the project and will be an integral part of the user experience.
The site is set within a rich landscape located around Airthrey Loch, overlooked by the National Wallace Monument and with views to Stirling Castle, Airthrey Castle, the Ochil Hills, Ben Lomond and the Trossachs. A considered approach to the design process has ensured the redevelopment improves the character and appearance of the sports campus in a way that is sensitive to the quality of its setting.
“After more than four years in the making, this project has delivered a stunning new complex that will transform sport, health and wellbeing at the University of Stirling,” said Cathy Gallagher, executive director of sport at the University of Stirling.“Whether it’s students joining a club, athletes training for the Olympics or a member of the community engaging with our programmes, the new facilities will unlock a host of enhanced opportunities to get involved and we aim to maximise them for all users.
“The past year has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone and we hope, when fully operational, the new facilities will offer a hugely positive experience for our students, staff and local community as we move through the new year.”The sports facilities redevelopment is part of a programme of investment at the university that will also see the creation of a new three-storey building at the heart of campus, as well as a new Courtyard development.