Morningside Arena, Leicester

  • Sector: Sports
  • Client: Ball Hall

Multidisciplinary architects, Clague, created a flexible and accessible sporting area, delivering a £6 million venue for the Leicester Riders. By working closely with Ball Hall Ltd, Leicester College and Leicester City Council, Clague designed the Morningside Arena with a view to generating revenue and fulfilling the needs of the local community. Joint funded by Sport England and Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, the 3,000-seater arena is fully compliant to all national guidance.

To fulfill the revenue needs of our client, the design ensures that when not in use for sports, the Arena can be used by the community for conferences; exhibitions; music and comedy events; large-scale dinners; celebrations; product launches; parties; weddings, or any other special event.

Focusing on the needs of the club, other users and spectators, our design incorporates a sports hall with a portal frame design with a two storey steel frame to provide first-floor accommodation.

The architecture reflects the industrial nature of this part of the city, with a contemporary feel in an area of regeneration within the city.

The challenge was to provide Britain’s oldest professional basketball team, the Leicester Riders, with a bespoke area of their own

which would drive their success in the British Basketball League (BBL).

The most essential part of the building was the sports arena, which has the potential to be one large hall or an intimate space simply by changing the layout – the hall is fully compliant to Sport England Guidance and suitable for wheelchair sports use.

Operated on a not-for-profit basis by Riders charity – the Leicester Riders Foundation – means that surpluses are re-invested in the Arena, or sports community outreach activities in deprived local communities.

The Morningside Arena has additional benefits for the community. Located adjacent to the Grand Union Canal, it is linked to Abbey Park via a new footbridge provided by the City Council, giving a much-needed connection for pedestrians and cyclists into the city.

The Morningside Arena has additional benefits for the community. Located adjacent to the Grand Union Canal, it is linked to Abbey Park via a new footbridge provided by the City Council, giving a much-needed connection for pedestrians and cyclists into the city.