Olympic athlete Craig Heap has received the backing of Pendle MP Gordon Prentice for his plans to build a specialist gymnastic centre.

The Commonwealth Games gold-medal-winning gymnast is hoping to use his expertise and experience to train up the next generation of potential Olympians at the £2million centre in Reedley.

And Craig said he wants the facility opened by 2010 so it can be used as a training camp for British athletes in the run up to the 2012 games in London.

The 33-year-old wants to build the academy on his family's land just by the bridge that goes over the M65, off Barden Lane.

He met Pendle MP Gordon Prentice to discuss the plans at his office.

Craig won Commonwealth gold in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998, and in Manchester in 2002, and also competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2002.