altMAY 15 – THE MYSTERY venue that wants to stage the shooting events at the 2012 Olympics if London officials can be persuaded to move them can be revealed by insidethegames.


Nuthampstead, a small village in Hertfordshire halfway between Buntingford and Royston, has held preliminary talks with Great Britain Target Shooting Federation (GBTSF) about replacing the controversial venue at the Woolwich Artillery Barracks, which shooting officials are unhappy about.


They have claimed the venue at Woolwich would be of no long-term benefit to British shooting as there are fears it will bulldozed immediately after the Olympics, although the Metropolitan Police are interested as using it as a training venue for its officers.


A statement released by the Nuthampstead said: “We are very excited that Nuthampstead Shooting Ground is being considered as the shooting venue for the 2012 Olympics.


“With good travel links and plenty of space this could be a major long-term boost for this popular shooting ground.”


Thanks to development work carried out since the venue opened in 1992, it can host major championships in four international shooting disciplines. Its facilities could be further developed to allow for the Olympic rifle, pistol and shotgun events and would be used long after 2012.


The GBTSF have been warned that LOCOG have no plans to change the venue but they are to continue to lobby.


“We want the action to take place in a world-class facility, but shooting, like other sports, is concerned about the legacy of the venue,” said Philip Boakes, chairman of the GBTSF.


“It would be immoral if millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money were spent on something that would be knocked down after only two weeks’ use.”

The GBTSF has also examined Dartford Gun Club as a possible alternative to put forward but Nicky Barker, co-owner of Nuthampstead Shooting Ground, was nevertheless optimistic about his venue’s chances.

“There is no legacy attached to the preferred site in Woolwich and the British federation is looking to recommend other sites in the vicinity,” he said. “There is nothing set in stone and we will have to wait and see.”

Bill Prime, the Mayor of Royston, said that hosting an Olympic event would be a shot in the arm for the surrounding area.

“I think it would be brilliant if it came to pass, he said. “Not only would it be wonderful for a place like Nuthampstead but it would provide a tremendous boost for businesses in Royston and Buntingford.”