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New Build Consultation

A public exhibition on the University Estate Master Plan will be held at the Palatine Centre, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3LE on Thursday 16 March between 12pm and 7pm. All are welcome.

Representatives from the University will be on hand at the public exhibition to provide detailed information and answer any questions.

Further information and an opportunity to comment on the overall Estate Master Plan will also be available on the Durham University website at www.durham.ac.uk/about/strategy/masterplannews/ from Thursday 16 March until Friday 31 March 2017.


Over the next two years (pending planning permission) there will be significant changes to the facilities at Maiden Castle - this will include renovating some of the existing facilities as well as a number of new developments. It is hoped that this will ease the transition of students from Queen’s Campus, boost student participation in sporting and physical activity up to 80% and ensure that Maiden Castle is a sporting hub for students, staff and the local and regional community.

The below information provides an overview of the proposed changes, and features an opportunity for either detailed or general feedback at the bottom. This feedback will then be included within the planning process to ensure that the new facilities best meet the needs of our student population.

Proposed New Facilities

Plans are still under development for the new build, but provisionally the new facilities are discussed below. All aspects of consultation will be taken on board prior to specifications of facilities being finalised.

Water Based Hockey Pitches

The current hockey pitches (sand-dressed and water-based) are coming to the end of their lifetime. As a result, new hockey pitches are required. The new build will include two new water-based pitches. At this stage we are planning on creating two identical (or near identical) pitches to provide an equitable experience for all students involved in hockey. We are additionally exploring opportunities for other sports including ultimate frisbee and baseball to make use of these surfaces to maximise their input. Each pitch will have bleacher seating for up to 150 spectators. To allow for new builds, the pitch that is replacing the sand-dressed will be relocated (as shown in the above picture).

Additional Rubber Crumb

The pitch in the centre of the track will be re-laid, to become an additional rubber crumb facility. One of the key objectives for this pitch is to enhance opportunities for college training in addition to provision for matches. Current areas of consideration include ensuring the entire central area is 'crumbed' to allow for three training pitches to be created during evening slots to maximise availability and usage, as well as resurfacing and potentially extending the track from 4 lanes to 6. Fencing will be built outside the track, enclosing both 3G and track.

Tennis & Squash Centre

A new indoor tennis and squash centre will be built, to include 4 indoor tennis courts and 4 squash courts. Additionally this building will feature outdoor accessible changing rooms and toilets for the artificial surfaces, in addition to provision for the tennis and squash courts. This area will also be used to host Archery, and has potential to host any activity requiring large indoor flat surfaces.

Example Ground Floor Layout

Cricket Centre & Pavilion

A 5 lane indoor cricket centre will be built, to continue to support and develop our cricket players, in addition to lifting current loads on sports hall space. This will feature 5 full length (40m) cricket nets capable of accommodating full bowlers' run up and wicket keepers. The centre will also be a competition size Indoor Cricket venue, supporting university and college teams and allowing the expansion of college indoor cricket. As with the tennis centre, this area will be able to host a range of other activities requiring large indoor flat surfaces. Alongside this a first floor 'pavilion' balcony will overlook the main Maiden Castle cricket square.

Sports Hall

A new 60m x 40m indoor hall will be built, large enough to have:

  • 12 badminton courts
  • 3 netball courts
  • 3 volleyball courts
  • 3 futsal courts
  • 3 basketball courts
  • 2 indoor hockey courts
  • 1 handball court

This will significantly increase the court time availability allowing engagement of more teams, and continuing the growth of indoor sports in Durham. The hall will have bleacher seating to accommodate major sporting events and other activities, but will be multi-configurable to allow for smaller show courts to be created depending on events. Current plans allow for the resurfacing of the old sports hall floor enabling us to support more community, college and performance programmes than ever before.

Example First Floor Layout

Fitness Suite and Strength & Conditioning

Within the build a new fitness suite will be built with up to 100 stations within this. We will also have double the current high performance strength and condition space. We currently anticipate having three mirrored 'break out'/aerobics studios when the build is complete, allowing the support of student clubs and societies across the university.

Sports Science

Sports laboratories, performance analysis studios and a 30m gait track will be included within the build. This will accommodate the current Undergraduate Sports Degree, as well as providing facilities for potential Undergraduate and Postgraduate growth.

Other New Facilities

We are looking at repurposing some of the current build, to allow for additional support for sports. At this time we are exploring a Martial Arts Dojo, Boxing suite, beach volleyball courts and a climbing wall. Additionally as part of this build we will be increasing college boathouse provision, particularly to accommodate the transfer of Stephenson and John Snow Colleges.

Support Facilities

In addition to the sports facilities we are looking to improve the support facilities. In particular this includes:

  • doubling the café space, including having a dedicated student study area;
  • adding a hall of fame corridor to celebrate success past and present;
  • additional offices, meeting spaces and staff support areas;
  • doubling car parking provision, including a coach car park

Fundraising Projects

The facilities outlined here go a very long way towards providing a Sports Park that will rival anyone else in Britain. However, we know that this does not yet check off every aspect and therefore we have short and long term fundraising objectives that include:

  • A rugby stand and rubber crumb at Hollow Drift;
  • Increased college boathouse provision;
  • Category D football ground on the ‘new’ rubber crumb
  • 25m Swimming Pool

The facilities that have been selected for the new build have been chosen with the objective of maximumising impact for our students. Considerable work has gone into delivering as large a range of facilities as possible.

In particular, one facility that a number of stakeholders have queried is the lack of inclusion of a swimming pool. The decision has been taken to not include a pool within our current developments for a number of reasons. Unfortunately swimming pools are extremely expensive to build and operate and we would therefore need to remove a significant number of the facilities identified above if we had included a pool. This would, in turn, have a negative impact upon provision of indoor/outdoor sport, where in many cases our facilities are already at full capacity. In addition our students and staff are, of course, in the fortunate position where they can access Freeman's Quay.