The project will mean that a new sports campus at the school will be created, containing a large fitness suite, mind and body zone, sports lab and a seminar space. The new facility will be available to community groups outside of school times as well as being used by school pupils during the school day. The facility is being built around three themes – ‘energise, enjoy and excel’. Pupils and the local community will be energised to participate in sport and physical activity, given a wide variety of activities that they can enjoy and encouraged to excel with state of the art facilities, there will even be visits from elite athletes.
People of all ages will be encouraged to participate, with the offer of seminar programmes and the use of links with the University of the 3rd Age the aspiration is to attract older people and adults who may have been inactive since leaving school.
The award has come from one of two Funds, CEF and BLEF, with a combined total of £40million, which are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Britain’s new high speed railway between London and the West Midlands. The funding of this project and two others this month has meant that the total awarded to date from the HS2 funds has now reached over £8million with awards made to 133 projects.
Fifteen projects in Buckinghamshire have shared over £2.5million of funding between them, nearly a third of the total funding allocated so far. Next week HS2 CEO Mark Thurston will be virtually visiting the National Paralympic Heritage Trust in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, to hear how they have continued working through the pandemic and how they have been using £250,000 of CEF funding to deliver their project which will to record local Paralympic history while reaching out to local communities, encouraging cohesion, connectivity and well-being through a wide range of activities.
Speaking about the award, Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds said:
“The development of a new sporting facility at the Royal Latin School using the HS2 funds is fantastic as improving access to quality physical activity opportunities for young people is vital. I am also pleased that the facility will also be available to the community for use, increasing the benefits it will provide.
“The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are disrupted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”
David Hudson, Headteacher of the Royal Latin School said:
"We're really concerned about the impact that an increasingly inactive lifestyle is having on people of all ages, and about the impact of inactivity on mental health in particular. The grant from the HS2 Community Fund towards our Sports Campus will enable us to build a fantastic new facility which will inspire everybody to be more active, encourage the least active to have a go, and will use physical activity as well as a community seminar programme to bring people together.
“Engaging people in being more active is very hard to do when you don't have facilities available; creating the Sports Campus will bring powerful new opportunities to reach the most inactive in our community. It will give us the chance to truly make a difference, by helping to remove barriers to activity, for the good of our community. We're extremely grateful to the HS2 Community Fund for supporting this exciting project."
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.
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