03:53AM, Friday 21 March 2014
A disabled sports charity has welcomed a royal visitor as it pushes ahead with £5m expansion plans.
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, was given a tour of SportsAble in Braywick Road on Tuesday.
The centre, formerly known as Wamdsad, wants to extend its base to provide increased sporting opportunities including courts for disabled basketball and wheelchair tennis.
Although still in the pre-planning stages, those involved in the operation of the facility are positive it will get the go-ahead and welcomed the interest shown by the duke, on his third visit to the charity.
Marketing manager Melissa Paulden said: "When I spoke to him he remarked on how important it is for those with impaired mobility to be involved in playing sport."
Teenage Paralympian Lucie Bouron uses the facility six times a week to play wheelchair table tennis.
The 18-year-old said: "The expansion would give us more space and it would bring in more people.
"It would also be really good for the Paralympics because it will give us more space to train."
The club hopes for a combination of funding from Sport England, the lottery, sponsorship and commercial funding. Various businesses have already shown an interest.
It is hoped the extension of 36,000 sq ft will be built in time for the club's 40th anniversary on March 18, 2015.
"The expansion could make it even better than it is already."
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