A new £12m sports centre for the University of Central Lancashire opened its doors on Friday 4th November 2011. Named in honour of the former Preston North End player Sir Tommy Finney, the centre is aimed to help the University achieve its ambition to become one of the top ten providers of sports education in the UK – delivering high quality courses under its sub-brand, UCLan Sport.
The state-of-the-art indoor sports facility was designed by ADP: Architects and comprises four floors. On the lower ground floor, there are two sports halls, a squash court and bleacher seating for 300 people; whilst on the upper ground floor there are changing areas and a viewing area. The first floor contains two purpose built studios which house a variety of dance, martial arts and fitness classes and the second floor contains an air conditioned fitness suite comprising: 60+ CV equipment, 25+ resistance, free weights and a ‘Cardio Zone.’
The large flexible spaces can be used for conferences, exhibitions and student events. To cater for the University’s diverse range of students, the building also incorporates a 90 pupil nursery, Muslim prayer facilities and the provision of out-of-hours services. The facility will also act as a venue for international sporting events and the university’s summer schools.
Tom Finney is already an honorary fellow of the University and has enjoyed an exemplary sports career. He scored 30 goals in 76 England appearances and played 433 games during his 14 year career with the Deepdale club. The eighty seven year-old was overjoyed by the news. He said:
“I am delighted to have the building named after me and to help put Preston and UCLan on the sporting map. Sport plays a key role in the whole student experience and many will benefit from these fantastic new facilities.”
Tom Finney’s son unveiled the plaque at the University of Central Lancashire, along with football pundit Mark Lawrenson, UCLan vice-chancellor Dr. Malcom McVicar and former Blackpool player Jimmy Armfield.
The centre is open to all UCLan students and staff as well as to the university’s extensive partner college network based across the North West.