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Bolton Arena is celebrating 20 years of keeping Bolton active

Bolton Arena, based opposite Bolton Wanderers Football Club and adjacent to one of Europe’s largest retail parks – Middlebrook - will this July celebrate 20 years of building an active and healthy community that the town of Bolton has been proud of since 2001.

More than 1.2 million visitors are welcomed through the doors every year to use the excellent facilities at Bolton’s best loved sporting, events and entertainment venue.

The Arena has been the venue for some iconic events over the past 20 years from hosting Commonwealth Games tournaments in 2002, the Davis Cup and memorable world title boxing events. In recent years, the Arena has played host to more diverse events including Business Expos, Wedding Shows and Outdoor concerts.

Bringing high profile events is only one part of the Arena’s strategic focus, as an important hub for the community the Arena is invaluable to schools and disability groups. With sporting clubs ranging from badminton, bowls, athletics and cycling, the Arena is a beacon of sport for all.

The Arena’s core focus is its gym, tennis, gymnastics, football and business facilities. The membership and attendance statistics showcase the facility as the town’s top leisure venue. There is no doubt that the Arena will be a well-attended venue for many more years to come as the Government’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategy focuses on a creating healthier nation.

Bolton Arena Managing Director Neil Hutchinson said: ‘’I join Bolton Arena in its 20th year with a strong legacy of building, supporting and developing sporting talent in Bolton and contributing to the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“The last year has been extremely challenging and the team have successfully navigated and worked hard to survive the COVID pandemic which is to be applauded and gives me the privilege of a sound platform and financial security to continue to grow and prosper.

“Out of a crisis has come opportunity and the next 18 months are going to be exciting and about taking full advantage of the opportunities to support health and wellbeing and work with other organisations collaboratively for community benefit in and around Bolton.’’

As a charitable trust the vision for the future will continue to improve the facilities to benefit all sections of the local community and to work with our partners to provide opportunities for all local people to access sport and exercise.

The 20-year celebrations will be centred on our members, staff and valued partners. We want to pay tribute to those that have been with us on the journey so far and use this passion to attract new members to our facilities to promote health and wellbeing for all.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said:

“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since the arena opened its doors to the people of Bolton. 

“The arena is one of the council’s strategic partners and key in supporting our 2030 vison to be more active, connected and prosperous.

“It is an important community hub. As well as the gym, tennis, gymnastics and football facilities, it has hosted some iconic events over the years including the Commonwealth Games badminton tournaments in 2002, the Davis Cup and world title boxing events with Bolton’s own Amir Khan.

“Recently, with the rise in COVID-19 infection rates, we have been using the site as a testing centre because it is convenient and easy to reach by car.

“But it won’t be long until we can all use Bolton Arena again and safely welcome back users, schools, clubs and the crowds for sporting events, outdoor concerts and much more.”

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