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ONE of the world’s fastest growing sports is set to continue its growth in England, with unanimous approval of plans for a new £1 million padel complex in Mansfield, Nottingham.

UAE-based World Padel Academy (WPA) is set to develop and operate its first fully-owned UK facility located at Mansfield Town Football Club’s One Call Stadium as part of a £10m investment to promote the game in the UK. To reach this latest development milestone, WPA has been assisted by Nottingham-based architectural practice CPMG on the facility’s design and by planning consultant Grace Machin on the approval required from Mansfield District Council.

The project team, which also includes BSP Consulting for highways, drainage and flood risk consultancy, has helped WPA move to the next stage in its plan to transform an unused site into a bespoke complex including four indoor padel courts on a synthetic turf playing surface. The courts will be protected by a steel portal frame structure and floodlit by the use of integrated posts as part of the surrounding fence enclosure. Also included in the complex will be a reception area, food and drink outlet, sitting areas and a retail store, some of which will be housed in converted shipping containers.

Richard Flisher, managing director at CPMG, said: “Interest and participation in padel is increasing at a rapid pace across the world, so we’re very pleased to be working alongside World Padel Academy again to continue to grow the inclusive game in England.

“The unused site in Mansfield is a well-chosen location for this development and we’re satisfied that our collaboration with the project team has helped navigate the complex planning process. Categorised as a major project by the planning committee, it will no doubt live up to its label by offering social and economic benefits to the local community.”

CPMG also designed Nottingham Padel Centre located next to Notts County’s Meadow Lane football ground, which opened in 2023 and is backed by WPA as the official technical partner. The important relationship between the two is helping to make padel more accessible in the Midlands and offer high-quality, purpose-built facilities.

James Bowring, chief operations officer at World Padel Academy UK, said: “We were very pleased to receive planning approval, however the planning process has been a real challenge to overcome and there has been a significant amount of resource invested to get to this point. This milestone could not have been reached without the support of the project team we’ve assembled. Knowing we’re closer to opening up this amazing sport to more people is incredibly exciting for everyone involved.”

The facility is hoping to open during the summer, subject to the successful navigation of planning conditions.

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