Liverpool Football Club has confirmed the appointment of Northern Ireland construction firm McLaughlin & Harvey to develop its new training centre.
As the Belfast Telegraph reported on Tuesday morning, the club made the announced that afternoon it was to redevelop its academy in Kirkby and the neighbouring Eddie McArdle community playing fields for a combined first team and academy facility.
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The new 9,200sq metre training centre, as well as playing pitches, will incorporate two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites. There will also be dedicated TV studios, press conference facilities and office accommodation.
The project also includes the redevelopment of Knowsley Council’s Eddie McArdle community playing fields at Simonswood Lane. Improvements include five upgraded football pitches, new changing rooms and associated facilities including car parking for 110 vehicles, a new pedestrian and cycle pathway, lighting and improved security. The new changing facilities on site will include six separate team changing rooms, coaches changing room and a social room for team and community use. The community will also benefit from improved pitches which will also be reconstructed with improved drainage.
The project is expected to be completed in 2020.
The development will see the club move away from its Melwood base which has been put up for sale. While having a long history with the club it was deemed limited in terms of space for redevelopment. Outline planning consent has been obtained for the site which could provide up to 160 much needed family homes in the area.
Andy Hughes, Chief Operating Officer, Liverpool Football Club said: “Today represents a significant milestone in the Club’s history. We would like to thank Knowsley Council and local residents for their time and support throughout the planning stages of this project.
“This is a major step forward for the Club and we’re proud to be investing in the Knowsley area. Our aspirations to create a clear pathway for our young players through to the first team is an ambitious project. The site in Kirkby provides the ideal location for the new home of our elite performance centre and state-of-the-art training facility.
“The commitment to deliver this exciting project further demonstrates the continued investment by our owners and reinforces the identity of LFC as one of the top football clubs in Europe.
“The scheme will not only provide first class facilities for our players and staff, but also help create quality sports facilities for the community of Kirkby to enjoy.”