A brand new £30m Sports Centre has been opened at Edge Hill University by Olympic heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

The state-of-the-art Sports Centre building houses an eight-court sports hall with viewing gallery for basketball, netball, badminton, five-a-side football and general sports use, a 25-metre swimming pool, an 80-station fitness suite, aerobics studio, health suite with sauna and steam rooms, a café and lounge area.


The Edge Hill Cheerleading team at the Sports Centre Opening

The international competition standard outdoor facilities include one of the largest running tracks in Europe, rugby, hockey and football pitches, an athletics field, netball and tennis courts and a ‘trim trail’ with exercise stations.

New ecological features and wildlife habitats have also been created, including mixed-woodland areas and footpaths linking to nearby Ruff Wood, wildflower meadows, open grassland and a new wildlife pond, and structural screen planting and hedgerow replacement. The whole development incorporates sustainable drainage and low carbon design and building technologies.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson was joined for the opening by philanthropist and entrepreneur Barrie Wells, who has sponsored her throughout her career.

Barrie Wells said: “Sport has a powerful influence on the lives of many individuals and I am certain that this incredible new facility at Edge Hill will benefit a wide variety of people ranging from students and staff, to grassroot level sports and professional athletes. In my experience as an entrepreneur and philanthropist I have seen how sport can act as a great platform for success in business – in particularly with elite athletes who share many similar qualities with successful business people such as short and long term planning, working under pressure, adapting to changing conditions, determination and competiveness.

“Both Katarina Johnson-Thompson – a great athlete who I have personally sponsored from the age of 15 – and I are truly honoured to open the new Edge Hill Sports Centre and look forward to seeing the positive impact that these top class facilities will have on our next sporting generation.’

Katarina Johnson-Thompson said: “I’ve been to Edge Hill a number of times, including with a group of schoolchildren and also to see my sponsor Barrie Wells be awarded an Honorary Degree by the University, and it’s fantastic to be back today for the opening of this amazing facility. It’s an honour to be here, and I’d like to thank Edge Hill for having me!”

Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University said: “These sector-leading sports facilities have been ten years and over £30m in the making. Top quality outdoor pitches, full-size 3G surfaces for year-round sport, an international standard athletics track and, now, a new eight -court sports hall, hundred-station fitness suite, 25m pool, sauna and steam room, all built to five-star hotel standards. We are delighted to have Katarina and Barrie with us today to open the new Sports Centre, and we look forward to providing outstanding facilities to many generations of students and community members in the years to come.”

The opening event saw Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Barrie Wells unveil a commemorative plaque, and join other invited guests for tours of the new facilities – including the chance to see the track and indoor equipment being used by pupils from local schools. Entertainment and healthy refreshments were also on offer for guests.

The Sports Centre at Edge Hill is open to the public as well as providing first rate facilities for students. For more information on membership options, click here


Edge Hill Sport’s facilities are situated to the East of the main Ormskirk campus, offering some of the best sporting facilities in the region and are fully accessible to wheelchair users and others with disabilities and contains excellent provision for both indoor and outdoor sports.

Operated by the Edge Hill Sport team the facilities are open to staff, students and the local community and provides a wide and varied activity programme. All users need a membership which can be obtained by completing a membership form at The Sports Centre Reception or completed on-line here. The possibilities for you within the complex are endless… so why not take a look.

The Sports Centre:

  • 8 court Sports Hall with spectator gallery
  • 25m 6-lane Swimming Pool
  • 80-station Fitness Suite with in-built entertainment technology
  • Sauna & Steam room
  • Exercise Studio
  • 6 Outdoor Pitch Changing Rooms
  • Starbucks Coffee shop
  • Roof Terrace
  • Classroom

Sporting Edge building:

  • 4 court Sports Hall
  • 4 court Gymnasium with sprung floor
  • 12 Changing Rooms
  • Sports Therapy Clinic
  • Classrooms

Other sports facilities:

  • 3 Floodlit 3G 6-a-side courts
  • 1 Floodlit Astroturf Hockey Pitch
  • 1 Floodlit 3G Astroturf Football / Rugby Pitch
  • Competition standard Floodlit 8-lane synthetic Athletics Track with an 2 x 10-lane straights
  • 6 grass pitches for Football and Rugby
  • 4-court Gymnasium with sprung floor
  • Dance Studio with sprung floor
  • 2.5km Fitness Trail with exercise stations

Additional Information about our Outdoor Facilities

3G football courts

3 x floodlit courts each 40m x 20m with fixed recessed goals and 3G long-pile carpet, suitable not only for small-sided football but is also an accredited surface for rugby training

Hockey Pitch

Full-sized floodlit pitch with short-pile carpet of National match-play standard. Also marked with 3 small-sided football pitches across width of pitch

 3G Football / Rugby Pitch

Full-sized floodlit football pitch with 3G long-pile carpet. Suitable for high level football matches with team dugouts, it is also marked with 3 small-sided football pitches across width of pitch. The surface is also an accredited surface for rugby training and with Rugby Union markings and removable Rugby posts it is also suitable for matches

Athletics Track

8-lane floodlit competition standard track with 2 x 10-lane straights and full field events, with grass banking for spectators provision

Fitness Conditioning Trail

Purpose-built conditioning trail around the perimeter of the outdoor facilities incorporating changes in gradients and fitness stations along the route

Grass Pitches

5 new high quality grass pitches ( 1 infield ) for Football and Rugby plus one existing pitch

Tennis / Netball courts

4 x floodlit Tennis courts with synthetic surface. Also marked out for 3 Netball courts