World Taekwondo Federation President Chungwon Choue was on hand here today to perform the official opening of GB Taekwondo's new National Taekwondo Centre ©ITG

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Chungwon Choue performed the official opening of GB Taekwondo's new National Taekwondo Centre here today. 

The state-of-the-art facility at the Ten Acres Sports Complex will be the home of GB Taekwondo and gives star athletes such as Olympic champion Jade Jones and 2015 World Grand Prix series winner Lutalo Muhammad a permanent base to serve all of their training and conditioning needs.

Primarily designed for Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, local talent will also benefit from the elite training centre, which will be open for schools and local community clubs to use every day of the week.

The opening of the new facility - with its 900 metres squared training hall and 500 metres squared strength and conditioning hall - comes as the GB athletes continue to build-up to this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, starting with this month’s Dutch Open.

"It’s very impressive, especially the warm-up and training areas," Choue, who was joined by Manchester's Lord Mayor Paul Murphy in cutting the ribbon, told insidethegames.

"There aren’t many countries that have this type of facility just for taekwondo.

"The opening is very timely, just ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, giving the athletes better conditions to train in."

Choue added: "It is always a pleasure to be in Manchester.

"We have been treated to many world-class events here and I am always struck by the quality of the facilities and the passion that exists for our sport.

"The establishment of the National Taekwondo Centre, which will also serve as a World Taekwondo Federation regional centre, truly cements Manchester as the home of taekwondo in the UK."

WTF President Chungwon Choue with Manchester's Lord Mayor Paul Murphy
WTF President Chungwon Choue with Manchester's Lord Mayor Paul Murphy ©ITG

GB Taekwondo’s Jones and Muhammad both captured medals at London 2012, the former claiming gold in the 57 kilograms category and the latter taking bronze in the under 80 kilogram division.

British fighters have qualified for four weight divisions for Rio 2016.

"It’s a huge boost to the athletes to have this centre open, particularly as we ramp up our preparations for the Rio Games later this year," said  Jones.

"To have world-class training and conditioning facilities available for our athletes, along with rooms to rest and recover and to meet with staff, is a really big step forward for taekwondo in the UK.

"It is already having a big impact for the current group and I’m sure it will really benefit and inspire our future taekwondo athletes for years to come."

The £2.7 million ($3.8 million/€3.5 million) project has been funded by Manchester City Council, Sport England and UK Sport, with management services at the centre delivered by the Eastlands Trust.

GB Taekwondo has been based in Manchester since 2007, but the new centre means that for the first time, elite athletes, coaches and administrators will all work together in the same building.

Local talent will also benefit from the elite training centre
Local talent will also benefit from the elite training centre ©ITG

"Facilities are often the major challenge for sports as they strive to develop and improve and it has been no different for GB Taekwondo down the years," said Steve Flynn, GB Taekwondo director.

"Our athletes and staff have often had to compromise but it hasn’t stopped us delivering some superb performances on the mats.

"Now, with the commitment of Sport England, UK Sport, Manchester City Council and Eastlands Trust, who have collectively recognised and responded to the needs of our performance and pathway programmes, we have a fantastic platform on which to build towards Rio this summer and on to future Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, added: "As the Rio Olympic Games fast approaches, this new training centre will help our best taekwondo players achieve their potential to make the nation proud at this crucial final stage of preparations. 

"To achieve world class performances, athletes and staff need access to world class facilities, and this new centre will be a beacon of aspiration for young taekwondo players across the UK.

"Thanks to our elite training centre partnership with Sport England, and partners at Manchester City Council and Eastlands Trust, GB Taekwondo has a fantastic new home."

The National Taekwondo Centre is the latest facility to be opened in Manchester, with its unveiling following the opening of the National Basketball Centre at the Belle Vue Sports Village last month.