The much-needed extension to the Morningside Arena, the home of the national basketball club champions Leicester Riders, received a huge boost this week with the announcement of a major £500,000 donation from the Ian & Clare Mattioli Charitable Trust.
By donating to the Arena Extension project Ian and Clare are keen to ensure that they create a continued legacy from the family to the communities of Leicester and Leicestershire.
The Trust – established by the Mattioli family in 2016 – mainly works to help enhance the lives and opportunities of all people, and, in particular, those from communities and socio-economic groups who are often sidelined and struggle to access opportunities for advancement, personal growth and to fully participate in society.
The Extension will bring significant additional revenue to the city, while mitigating conflicts from the demands of major events at the arena and those of community sports use – enabling both to co-exist in harmony.
The Arena Extension Project consists of a standalone, 1,200 metres squared, 2-court sports hall on the existing car park at the Morningside Arena, at Charter Street, Leicester.
The project will significantly increase flexibility of the arena, and whilst not increasing the 3,000 capacity of the main hall, will enable the venue to accommodate an increasing range of national and international sports and entertainment events, whilst also allowing for increased, regular and predictable community sports usage for the burgeoning underage age basketball programmes of Riders charity, the Leicester Riders Foundation, for Leicester College students, for wheelchair basketball users and other community sport users, making the venue the largest of its type in the UK, with the addition of 2 external courts.
The donation from The Trust is expected to cover approximately one fifth of the total cost of the project. With the first phase of the civil works now complete by C3 Construction, and with build contractor B&E Boys scheduled to commence building works in early July, the project is due for completion by October 2022.
Ian Mattioli MBE, Founder of the Trust and CEO of Mattioli Woods said:
“Leicester has always looked after our family in the very safest of environments and that is why we are delighted to be part of creating a legacy for the diverse communities we support in the City of Leicester and beyond.”
“To also be able to do this through sport and a project that has the potential to impact so many people is something we will continue to take great pride in supporting, and we hope it will be used by many, many people in future years.”
The activity of the Ian & Clare Mattioli Charitable Trust very much complements the work of the Riders Foundation and the delivery of affordable community sport within Leicester and Leicestershire.
Kevin Routledge, Chairman of Leicester Riders, Trustee of Riders Foundation and a Director of the Arena added:
“This incredibly generous contribution from the Ian and Clare Mattioli Charitable Trust is hugely welcome and a critical part of the funding of the Extension. The work of the Riders Foundation and the demands on the Arena are growing in an unprecedented way, and the Extension is critical to keeping up with the many, competing demands.” “We cannot thank Ian, Clare, Laura and Alex enough for their very kind donation and it will enable us to deliver an arena, community services and events that will make the city proud.”
The project will also bring a whole host of economic and employment benefits to the city as well as creating additional tourism, entertainment and cultural opportunities, while continuing to further regenerate a previously underutilised area of the city.
For further information please visit the Arena website at www.leicesterarena.co.uk or contact the Arena at 0116 326 9700