The arena, designed by Gloucester based Roberts Limbrick Architects, will have retractable seating for up to 2,000 people and attract top-class regional, national and international events to the city.
As the new home for Worcester Wolves Basketball Club, it will have special emphasis on international level basketball. However its 12 courts will cater for a full range of indoor sports including badminton, futsal, handball, netball, short tennis and volleyball.
The arena has a strong focus on the low use of fossil fuel energy through features such as natural lighting and ventilation, the reuse of rainwater and a Combined Heat and Power unit giving it a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.
Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, says, “We’ve just finished the acclaimed Corby-East Midlands International Pool and are delighted to be behind another sporting venue which will have a major impact for the community, attracting a great range of spectator events to the city when it’s completed in 2012.”
The 6,000 m2 arena is highly inclusive and caters for major disability team sports, with all areas and changing rooms designed for independent wheelchair access.
In parallel with the planning process, Willmott Dixon will work with consultants to develop the design, allowing construction work to commence in April 2011 once planning approval has been received.
The project has been made possible following the university’s purchase in January 2010 of the former fruit and vegetable market on Worcester’s Hylton Road.