Following further extensive consideration of the viability of the proposed National Badminton Arena development, at its meeting on 29 July 2015, the Board of Directors of Badminton England regretfully took the decision not to pursue a move to the National Bowl.
When we presented the vision for the National Badminton Arena, it was clear that not only would it have been transformational for English badminton in so many ways but this state of the art, world class training and community sports facility, would be the cornerstone of Milton Keynes aspirations to be recognised as an International Sporting City.
The National Badminton Arena would have:
1. Delivered one of the best badminton training facilities in the world
2. Satisfied the massive demand for badminton court time by the local community
3. Presented an outstanding community sports facility, across a range of sports
4. Provided free sports hall time to local primary schools during term time
5. Attracted a host of European and International major events to Milton Keynes, not just in badminton, but across a range of sports thereby delivering significant economic impact
Fundamental to the project though was not just the affordability of the capital programme but ensuring the ongoing viability of the facility. The funding gap that became apparent was exacerbated by the upturn in the construction industry which led to a significant widening of the gap.
Having forensically explored numerous options to close the gap, it became clear that each of them would have posed a major concern to the ongoing viability of the facility and more importantly placed the financial sustainability of Badminton England at considerable risk. As much as we wanted this project to work, the responsibility to protect the financial health of Badminton England has overridden the opportunities that we saw this project delivering.
Badminton England would like to express its thanks to everyone who shared our vision and for playing their part in trying to bring it to reality, particularly the previous, and current, administration at Milton Keynes Council (both Members and Officers), Milton Keynes Development Partnership, the Parks Trust, the Homes & Communities Agency, Sport England, Table Tennis England, the MK Sports Board, the Members of Badminton England, Emptage Architects, Dudley Smith Partnership, Nortoft, Novus and our local MP’s.
Badminton England will now cease its plans for the new Arena facility on the National Bowl and take some time to consider what alternative options it might have.
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