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World-renowned facility to support elite swimmers coming to Buckinghamshire

A new project designed to help top international swimmers improve their performance is being built at Silverstone Park in Buckinghamshire.

It’s being made possible through grants administered by the Buckinghamshire Growth Board to bolster local economic growth, following the transition of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership into the council.


Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were set up across the country to link business and other partners to deliver economic growth in local areas. Following a government decision last year, the LEPs functions, principally strategic economic planning and delivering government grants and programmes, have been transferred into local authorities.


This exciting project is one of the first to be announced since the transition of the Buckinghamshire LEP into Buckinghamshire Council. The swimming flume based at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH), will be used to coach elite athletes to develop new stroke techniques and understand more about the dynamics of the sport in a bid to make swimmers more efficient and faster. 


The SSEH forms a key part of the Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone (Bucks EZ) – a network of specialist ‘hubs’ of high-tech expertise. This £4m project is being funded by a £2m grant from the Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone with the rest coming from the UK Sports Institute and aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics specialists TotalSim who are also managing the delivery of the project. The Enterprise Zone exists to enable further investment in innovation and on-site infrastructure  in Buckinghamshire to promote economic growth in the county.


Martin Tett is Buckinghamshire Council’s Leader and Chair of Buckinghamshire’s Growth Board. He said:

“Projects like this put Buckinghamshire on the map and reinforce our reputation as a world-leading destination for the high-tech industries. It’s particularly pertinent given our status as the birthplace of the Paralympics to see Buckinghamshire at the heart of developing world-class facilities for elite athletes. It all helps further increase Buckinghamshire’s reputation as an attractive proposition for investment. Creating and developing these hubs of skills and expertise leads to further investment, which, in turn, leads to more jobs and a healthy local economy, which benefits us all.”


SSEH Managing Director Rob Lewis said:

“This project is hugely exciting and it’s fantastic news that this cutting edge facility will be based here in Buckinghamshire. The ultimate goal is to be able to spot the differences that tiny changes to a stroke can make and support the advancement of British swimming performances. With a conventional swimming pool, we are unable to see the specific factors contributing to success. The flume will allow us to gain a comprehensive understanding of these intricacies through precise measurements and analysis."


“We can also look at changing goggles, caps, costumes etc. to inform product development, athlete choice and better understand swimmer performances.”


The addition of the swimming flume will also allow the facility to support swimming, triathlon, modern pentathlon and support industry in the designing of apparel to improve performance across swimming, running and cycling.


Rob added: “There is nowhere else that has all these measuring tools under one roof and people are travelling from far afield to take advantage of this one stop shop.”

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