Bid to create national football centre in Wrexham

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

Wrexham AFC’s former training base could be turned into a national football development centre.

The Football Association of Wales has launched a pre-application consultation over proposals to expand Colliers Park in Gresford, which is owned by Glyndwr University.

Colliers Park has been used as a football training ground for more than 20 years, providing two grass pitches and a floodlit artificial turf pitch, as well as a two storey off-pitch support accommodation building.

The FAW is proposing to upgrade and extend the playing facilities and off-pitch accommodation to create a National Football Development Centre.

Plans for the proposed development are being drawn up by Lawray Architects in partnership with the FAW.

Ahead of the application being lodged with Wrexham Council, plans are on show in the main reception of Glyndwr University in Mold Road for 28 days between 9am and 5pm.

Last year, the Leader reported the Reds had an agreement with Wrexham Council for the first team and youth side to train at Nine Acre, with the centre of excellence remaining at Colliers Park in Gresford.

Club bosses announced in October 2016 that the first team would no longer be based at Colliers Park after being unable to come to an agreement with Glyndwr University.

It is believed the annual running costs were too high for the club to take on as well as the lease for the Racecourse.

Colliers Park was officially opened in June 1997 at a building cost of £750,000.

The England national team, Barcelona, Rangers and the Wales national team have all used it for training purposes.

A running hill, as well as all-weather pitches and a small stand, have been constructed since the facilities opened

The FAW says new National Development Centre at Colliers Park in Wrexham will complement the FAW existing facility at Dragon Park, Newport and will further benefit Welsh football nationally and locally.

The proposed development demonstrates the FAW’s commitment to North Wales and represents a significant investment in the area.

With the investment to develop high quality training facilities, the FAW aims to deliver national training, coach education, improvements to national and regional player development performance pathways alongside initiatives to support grassroots football and the development of the communitygame.

The FAW is currently in discussion with Wrexham Glyndwr University to establish mutually agreeable heads of terms and further explore securing the required improvements to the Colliers Park facilities.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar said: “The investment in Colliers Park will be great news for students on our football and sports coaching degrees, who will prosper in these new surroundings.

“The FAW’s plans are very impressive and support the University’s Campus 2025 redevelopment programme, as well as the community.

“It is also a big boost for football in this region and the FAW in North Wales, so we fully support their vision.”

You can inspect copies of the proposed application, together with plans and other supporting documentation in the main reception of Wrexham Glyndwr University, Plas Coch, Mold Road,

Wrexham, LL11 2AW for 28 days from the date of this notice, and between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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