Leicester City are planning to build an £80 million, state-of-the-art, modern new training facility at a site near Loughborough.
The Mercury understands City have purchased land that was previously Park Hill Golf Club in Charnwood and have drawn up plans to develop the 180 acre site.
The club have hired architects KSS, who have previously worked on training grounds for Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion, and did the ground extension at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium, to oversee the project, which will give City training facilities on a par with the best in the country.
It is not known at this stage how much City paid for the land but to develop it into a state of the art training facility, which is expected to house the first team, under-23s and academy as City have always preferred to have all playing parts of the club integrated on one site, could cost around £80 million.
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City have been assessing several sites across Leicestershire and, as previously reported by the Mercury, had made a bid for Forest Hill Golf Club near Botcheston but were put off when Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby demanded £12 million for covenants that had been placed on the land when it was purchased by the golf club’s owners.
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Park Hill Golf Club Seagrave (Image: google)
Park Hill Golf Club Seagrave (Image: Leicester Mercury)
It is understood there are no covenants on the land at Park Hill but the club will now undergo a consultation period, where the public can assess plans for the site and the club can then gauge feedback on plans and consider ways to integrate community usage into the site.
It is not known what the move will mean for the future of City’s existing training facility at Belvoir Drive, off Aylestone Road, which has been City’s training base since 1963.
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Until City purchased Belvoir Drive for £17,000, the City players had trained either on the pitch or on the car park at Filbert Street, or on a recreation ground that used to be behind the Main Stand.
At various times they also used the nearby Dunlop Sports Ground at St Mary’s Mills, the Electricity Sports Ground on Aylestone Road, the Granby Halls and the Saffron Lane Sports Ground.
Park Hill Golf Club Seagrave (Image: Chris Gordon)
The timescale for the development is yet to be established and will depend on the outcomes of the consultation, the granting of planning permission and when City are given the green light to begin the work.
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