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LFC confirm Kirkby redevelopment

Liverpool FC has confirmed that it will proceed with the redevelopment of its Academy site in Kirkby and the neighbouring Eddie McArdle community playing fields.

The scheme will see the Reds’ first team and academy football training operations and facilities come together on one site in a new training campus.

The project will provide the club with world-class training facilities, including an elite performance centre for the first team and state-of-the-art training centre for its development squad teams.

The new 9,200sqm training centre on LFC’s academy site creates a combined first team and U23 academy facility, each of which has their own identity, along with new first-team pitches and parking within the site. 

The facilities 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 club has also started the sales process for its existing first-team training ground.

Melwood has played a significant role in Liverpool’s history, but the site is limited in terms of space and is unable to accommodate the Reds’ new combined training facility. 

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 at LFC, 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 aspiration 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.”

Knowsley Council’s regeneration and economic development cabinet member, councillor Tony Brennan, said: “We are thrilled that LFC has chosen Knowsley as the location for this exciting new facility. Their major investment will not only bring benefits for the club but most importantly for the local community in Kirkby, who have been very supportive during this planning phase.

“We know that the club is committed to working with their neighbours in the local area and we welcome their partnership approach to this development.

“It is fantastic news that this project is now moving into the next phase of delivery and we look forward to work commencing on the community pitches and sports facilities in the coming weeks.”

Work has started on the council’s community pitches, with construction starting on LFC’s Academy site in early October.

The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

 

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