Dartford Judo Club
Matt Cooke, BBC London
A £5m extension to the Dartford Judo club could pave the way for the sports first dedicated performance venue in Britain - just in time for the Olympic Games in 2012.
Ambitious new plans for a British Judo performance Institute in Dartford have been unveiled. A five million pound centre of excellence would be built alongside the existing Dojo in North Kent.
Governing body British Judo say the Institute, if built, would revolutionise the sport - allowing participants to access specialist coaching, a high performance gym and a rehabilitation area.
'Cutting edge facilities'
Scott Walker from UK Sport says: "It will be a great advantage for our leading Judo players to have a dedicated institute incorporating cutting edge facilities."
The site will provide accommodation to athletes as well as acting as the venue for day training and squad training camps.
The Institute will mirror similar centralised training facilities already found in France and Japan - where nationally the sport achieves greater success when it comes to competitions.
The sports body hope the investment will lead to significant medal tallies at future Olympic Games and World Championships.
Dartford Borough Council have pledged to provide land needed for the extension and contribute to the costs of consultants and architects.
The land required for the extension is expected to cost close to £1.5m alone.
Leader of the Council Jeremy Kite said the existing club has already "become a beacon for elite players" and suggested that Dartford could soon be known as 'Judo Town.'
The Dartford site was chosen above other plots identified in Britain. The current Dojo's proximity to local academic institutions and transport links were also considered to have helped the decision.
Dartford Judo Club
It's still too early for completion dates or artist impressions but it's hoped the new Institute will be up and running in time for the 2012 Games.
last updated: 30/10/2008 at 16:46