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Death knell for £22M badminton arena scheme

Plans to build a £22M national badminton arena have been scrapped over funding concerns.

Governing body Badminton England received planning permission in spring 2013 to create the facility at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes.

The arena would have hosted international events, offered top class training facilities and been used by the public and primary schools.

But Badminton England this week said pressing ahead with the project would have posed a major threat to the body’s existence.

“Fundamental to the project was not just the affordability of the capital programme but ensuring the ongoing viability of the facility,” it said in a statement.

“The funding gap that became apparent was exacerbated by the upturn in the construction industry, which led to a significant widening of the gap.

“Having forensically explored numerous options to close the gap, it became clear that each of them would have posed a major concern to the ongoing viability of the facility and more importantly placed the financial sustainability of Badminton England at considerable risk.

“As much as we wanted this project to work, the responsibility to protect the financial health of Badminton England has overridden the opportunities that we saw this project delivering.”

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