Parliament Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP and Paralympian John Stubbs MBE cut the ribbon on the new Chorley Bowmen Saxon Pavilion.
The Wigan Lane Sports and Community Hub, home of Chorley Bowmen’s new Saxon Pavilion, had its grand opening on Friday 15 September. The unveiling brought together club members, council associates, the Deputy Mayor, and special guests Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP and John Stubbs MBE. The MP shot the opening arrows on the new field, christening the grounds, followed by a shot by Stubbs which showered the target in confetti.
The MP and House of Commons Speaker, in an interview with Archery GB, said: "The fact is that we now have this wonderful facility in Chorley. It’s going to get more young people involved, bring the community together, and we’re going to get the best out of sport in Chorley."
On the subject of shooting a few arrows down the new range, Sir Lindsay added: "I've had a go in the past but not properly on a facility like that. It was quite amazing. To do it properly and to see professionals do it, it was a real inspiration and very moving today. I always say, it’s great to be an MP, but there’s no better place to be an MP than Chorley."
In his speech, Chorley Bowmen Chairman, Geoff Tittensor, announced the Saxon building was named after the club’s founder, Joe Saxon. The indoor part of the shooting facility has also been dubbed the Simon Terry range in honour of the late Simon Terry, who was an associate member along with his wife Emma.
Geoff said: "We struggled to do beginners' courses. We've done our first one here with fourteen people on it, and we've got a queue waiting for the next one. Now we can start hosting tournaments and things again. This is where we've wanted to be for the last 10 years, and now finally we're here."
The facility came together overall thanks to an £800,000 investment, £100K of which was part-funded by Sport England, and the rest from the club themselves and Chorley Council. The facility includes the pavilion itself with a full indoor 18 metre range, kitchen, toilets, and storage. The field was levelled and drained to create the perfect space that will be shared between the archers and footballers.
Not only is this new, state-of-the-art facility perfect for the archery patrons, but it was also made with green economics a top priority. The building is equipped with solar panels, insulation, car charging points, and a packaged sewage treatment plant which runs the building and cellpave parking bays which allow for water drainage.
The council's support was absolutely crucial to this project, otherwise it simply wouldn't have happened. A big thank you also must go to Bowmen of Pendle and Salmesbury for hosting the club members of Chorley Bowmen while the site was being done and they were without a shooting home.