By James Crook

4 fiveFebruary 14 - Badminton England have submitted planning application to build a new £22 million ($34 million/€26 million) facility at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, which would open in May 2015 if the application is successful.

The future of the site at the National Bowl, which has held major concerts by the likes of Queen, Eminem and David Bowie, is yet to be decided, with other proposals such as a cycling track, a training ground for Milton Keynes Dons Football Club and keeping the Bowl as an events venue also considered.

Badminton England are currently based in the town, just over two miles away from the proposed site at the National Bowl.

Funding for the project would come from the sale of the existing site for a housing development, as well as backing from Sport England and the Buckinghamshire Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). 

The original proposal for the National Badminton Centre includes: a 3,000-seater multi-purpose arena, 17 badminton courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a health and fitness club, conference rooms and offices.

"This will be a state-of-the-art venue that will bring international competitions to Milton Keynes, and provide a fantastic community sports facility for local people," said Adrian Christy, chief executive of Badminton England.

5 tenA computer-generated impression of the badminton courts at the proposed National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes

"We did a 10,000 leaflet drop to houses in the local area and we've had excellent feedback from people excited by the prospect of having such an outstanding facility on their doorstep.

"We've had great support from Milton Keynes Council, the Bucks LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) and people in the local area.

"It's going to be a truly iconic venue."

Milton Keynes, 50-miles north of London, announced plans to become an International Sporting City (ISC) in 2011, within a timescale of 10 to 15 years.

"The vision of the International Sporting City will not only create a lasting legacy, but sets our sights as being a major player among other sporting cities in this country." said Christy

The National Bowl was earmarked as a potential site for a sporting venue in the original Executive Summary for the town to become an ISC, and construction could begin as early as November this year if the application is successful.

Milton Keynes BowlThe Milton Keynes Bowl has hosted some of Britain's biggest ever pop concerts, including ones featuring Queen and Robbie Williams

Badminton England also hope that the venue could be shared with another sport's governing body, though attempts to get England Netball to relocate to the site were not successful.

Christy went on to say that: "The arena could also house a new basketball franchise or netball team from the Superleague."

Milton Keynes was home to the Milton Keynes Lions basketball team until last year, who competed in the British Basketball League (BBL), before the franchise was forced to relocate to London after failing to secure a home venue for this season.

The Lions now compete at the Crystal Palace Arena in South London, with a move to the 7,000-capacity Copper Box arena, which was built for the London 2012 Olympics to stage handball and modern pentathlon during the Games, planned for next year.

The planning committee for the project are scheduled to meet in the week beginning April 29, 2013.

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October 2012: Badminton England announces plans for 3,000-seat centre at The National Bowl