Uxbridge College's brand new £6m sports hall was officially opened by Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, who is pictured with Principal Laraine Smith.

Uxbridge College has officially opened its brand new £6m sports hall.

The hall and new fitness suite was declared open by guest of honour Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, uc_sports_open_nov10_webUxbridge College's brand new £6m sports hall was officially opened by Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, who is pictured with Principal Laraine Smith.

Uxbridge College has officially opened its brand new £6m sports hall.

The hall and new fitness suite was declared open by guest of honour Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, on Thursday 4 November. Guests also included the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon Councillor David Yarrow and Mrs Rita Kilroy.

Students demonstrated the facilities which include provision for basketball, badminton, netball, volleyball, cricket, gym activities, and futsal, a five-a-side indoor soccer game.

Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency, said: "It is always a pleasure to see vibrant and inspiring learning environments first-hand, and the new sports facilities here at Uxbridge are just that.

"Being here also gives me the chance to say that this is the moment for colleges and training organisations to raise their game even further. Despite the challenging times ahead, those with good business acumen who meet the needs of their customers and communities and engage with employers will be on the road to success."

Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: "Our fantastic £6m sports and leisure development is part of Uxbridge College's commitment to ensuring we are fit for the future in every way. We are delighted to have replaced what was one of the oldest parts of the College with this national-standard hall. We are also looking forward to the final phase of the development - two outdoor areas - being completed in the spring."

Work is underway on the final phase of the College's sports and leisure development. This will include two outdoor Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs), one for basketball, netball and tennis, and a 5-a-side pitch with 3G Astroturf for football, hockey and rugby.

The hall is used for national basketball tournament games and has a 7.6m high ceiling. Uxbridge College worked with Sport England and FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, to ensure the facilities met national sporting guidelines.

The development was designed by architects Harding Neill & Watson and built by Kier London using sustainable materials and construction methods.

The project was paid for by Uxbridge College with no additional grants or funding.

In addition to use by staff and students, the hall is also used for activities including national basketball tournaments at U-18s and senior level. It will also be used by Uxbridge Cricket Academy - run by Uxbridge Cricket Club and Uxbridge College - during the winter.

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