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William Edwards Academy Badminton and Fitness Suite

Opening the new Badminton and Fitness suite at William Edwards School on World Sport Day, the 25th June 2012 was significant as the new 1799m2 Challenger™ Sports Facility was to open up the sporting world to their students.

Installed in 1962 the old gym was dark, dingy and had become far too small for the requirements of the 1200 pupils, in desperate need for increased, better facilities it was decided to create a centre of excellence for Badminton with funds being raised from Badminton England, the DfE and the Local Authority with the balance being raised by the school itself.

With the budget set, research established that they could get more for their money by going for a clear span tension membrane building.

The development team visited sites which had been constructed by three different manufacturers before deciding on a Challenger™ sports facility from Lancashire based family firm, Collinson plc. The decision was taken for numerous reasons, importantly it was a high quality product, endorsed by the site they had visited, Newbridge High School who had been more than happy with the facility Collinson built for them, William Edwards knew what they wanted on paper and the Collinson team were able to design and build it adding their advice gained from years of designing sports facilities.

Peter Melville, Business Director at William Edwards said ‘We were impressed with the product itself and the assistance Collinson provided us with but the key in the end was that they were a family firm and treated us like their most important customer, we knew things would be done to a high standard and had confidence they would deliver exactly what we wanted and we were proved right’

Designed and built by Collinson, the facility comprises an 8 court Badminton facility, which is also utilised for multi-sport, changing rooms and Fitness Suite.

The Challenger sports structure system is based on a clear span, steel superstructure which requires minimal foundations and can be quickly erected. This modular system is renowned for its effi ciency, the frame is covered with a tensioned PVC membrane which acts to enhance the playing environment with natural light, ensuring the courts are bright and airy. Profiled colour coated cladding had also been added for aesthetic and security reasons to a height of 3m on the exterior.

Internally the layout incorporates 8 courts designed to Badminton England’s guidelines with elevated viewing galleries for match watching. The green and blue colours create a calming positive atmosphere and the lighting system is designed to ensure optimum playing conditions late into the night.

Not only benefiting the school, the facilities are available for use by the local community and beyond, being a centre of excellence County and Regional matches are played on the facility, junior badminton coaching is also delivered on the site, whilst marked for badminton other sports including table tennis, fitness, athletics and games are played.