Sporthouse Dagenham taken over by charity running Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venues
- Credit: Archant
After calling in the administrators last summer, Sporthouse has found a new buyer in the social enterprise running facilities at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
GLL, which manages the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena under brand name Better, plans to inject £100,000 into the UK’s largest sports club and change its name to Barking Sporthouse and Gym after taking it over on February 1.
The centre, based in Lodge Avenue, was used as a training venue for Olympic Handball teams during London 2012 and was officially opened by rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave in April 2012.
Mark Sesnan, GLL managing director, said: “We’re very excited about the acquisition of Barking Sporthouse and Gym which is a top sports venue and really puts the borough on the map.
“With our experience running two key former Olympic venues in legacy mode, we are determined to offer local people the chance to experience world class sporting facilities on their doorstep.”
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Residents can expect to see a revamped reception, health and fitness changing rooms as well as upgraded studios and new IT systems, said a spokesman.
The social enterprise said it expects more than 500,000 people a year to use the centre once its two-phase development programme is complete.
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Talented young athletes based at Sporthouse will also have the chance to apply for financial and training grants through the GLL Sport Foundation which currently supports more than 1,000 athletes and boasts gold-medallist Sally Gunnell OBE as its patron.
Sporthouse is home to the country’s biggest multi-use sports hall, a gym and two outdoor basketball courts including the capacity for up to 6,000 spectators.
Customers have been unaffected throughout the administration process.