Loughborough Town Deal confirms £2.5 million grant to help build on town’s sporting reputation

Published: Mon 10th October, 2022

  • Pictured are representatives of Loughborough University and Loughborough Town Deal. From left, Dr Robert Harland; Professor Fehmidah Munir; Professor Chris Rielly, the university's Loughborough Town Deal lead; Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Chancellor; Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal; Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal; Pete Hitchings, Loughborough University Incubator Manager; and Dr Asya Natapov
    Pictured are representatives of Loughborough University and Loughborough Town Deal. From left, Dr Robert Harland; Professor Fehmidah Munir; Professor Chris Rielly, the university's Loughborough Town Deal lead; Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Chancellor; Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal; Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal; Pete Hitchings, Loughborough University Incubator Manager; and Dr Asya Natapov

Loughborough Town Deal has confirmed a £2.5 million grant to help build on the town’s reputation for sporting excellence and harness that knowledge for the good of residents.

The funding has been awarded to Loughborough University’s Healthy and Innovative Loughborough project which will create jobs, help new businesses and improve people’s health.

This is one of 11 projects Loughborough Town Deal is supporting after securing £16.9 million of Government funding. In total, the projects are worth over £40 million of investment for the town.

The university project will support the expansion of SportPark, a complex which is home to a number of leading sporting organisations, and also help new businesses get off the ground and support entrepreneurs. The project will also; introduce a programme of interventions to help local people improve their health and create an Impact Hub to assess and analyse the health of the town to help plan for future developments and improvements.

The Loughborough Town Deal Board is co-chaired by Cllr Jonathan Morgan, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, and Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, founder of Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Cllr Morgan said: “We are delighted to confirm this latest funding award for a project that will build on Loughborough’s global reputation for sporting excellence.

“The Healthy and Innovative Loughborough project has many benefits. Not only will it encourage more sporting organisations to set up home in the town but it will also new support businesses and improve people’s health.

“The Town Deal is delivering real improvements and significant investment into Loughborough which will benefit future generations.”

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE said: “The Town Deal investment means we can help SportPark expand, bring more sporting organisations to the town and continue to grow Loughborough’s reputation for sport.

“As a local businessman, I am also pleased that this project will support entrepreneurs and the growth of new businesses. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to start a new business so I am pleased this project can offer them support as they are crucial to our local economy and to the creation of new jobs.”

Professor Chris Rielly, lead for the University’s Town Deal project, said: “The University recognises the important local economic anchor role it plays and we are delighted that, through the Town Deal investment, we can work in civic partnership with stakeholders to make Loughborough a healthy place to live and work, and enable new businesses to prosper."

SportPark, on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, already houses the UK’s highest concentration of sports governing bodies and national sports organisations. The 2,000 sq metre expansion will provide the capacity to welcome yet more mission-driven organisations to the University, co-located with world-leading expertise in sports science, engineering, health and well-being, high-performance athlete base, and sports infrastructure.

The SportPark expansion is on track for completion at the end of the year and will be the first Passivhaus development on the University campus. This will see 165 jobs on-site and an additional 41 jobs in the wider economy being created and supported in the process.

Sixty new businesses will also be supported through a New Business Wayfinder programme. In addition to providing office space and access to knowledge and expertise, businesses will be able to access an Innovation Lab in Loughborough town centre and a Prototype Lab on LUSEP.

An area of the funding will concentrate on the health of local communities and improving the connectedness between the railway station, the town centre and the Science and Enterprise Park. A programme of health interventions will be delivered to help local people.

The Impact Hub in Loughborough will focus on data gathering, and analysis, method development and engagement with experts to monitor the health of the town and plan for future improvements.

Loughborough Town Deal is backing projects to boost skills, improve the town centre, reduce flooding, regenerate the riverside, develop a creative hub and support two key attractions – the bell foundry and the Great Central Railway.

So far, Loughborough Town Deal has committed to invest:

  • £2.6 million to create a Digital Skills Hub at Loughborough College
  • £900,000 to create a Careers and Enterprise Hub in Loughborough's town centre
  • £835,000 to help save Taylor’s Bell Foundry, the last major bell foundry in the UK
  • £885,000 to fund towpath improvements alongside the River Soar
  • £1.6 million to a creative arts hub at the Generator.
  • £1.7 million to support the Bedford Square Gateway Project which has regenerated part of the town centre

With the funding for the Healthy and Innovative Loughborough project, the committed Town Deal funding has now reached over £11 million.

Visit www.loughboroughtowndeal.co.uk to find out more.