The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has made an in-principle commitment to invest in a National Football Development Centre in Wrexham – believed to be in the region of £4m.
The new National Development Centre at Colliers Park in Wrexham would complement the FAW existing facility at Dragon Park, Newport and they say would ‘further benefit Welsh football nationally and locally’.
Colliers Park is the former Wrexham Football Club training ground, with Wrexham Football Club previously owning both the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park. Colliers was built at a cost of £750,000 to the club back in 1997. Barcelona famously used the site for training, which at one point was regarded as one of the best outside the Premier League.
After years of mismanagement by a range of owners the ground and training ground ended up being sold to Glyndwr University. Previously the club had a licence, not lease, to use Colliers and the Racecourse from the University. A new 99 year lease was signed for use of the Racecourse, however that agreement did not include Colliers Park – prompting the club to move to the 9 Acre off Chester Road for their training facility.
On today’s news the FAW say: “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 community game.”
The FAW is currently in discussion with Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU) to establish mutually agreeable heads of terms and further explore securing the required improvements to the Colliers Park facilities – although in an email sent out from the University it noted the University and the FAW ‘is to sign a lease with the University and plans to redevelop the Gresford complex into a National Development Centre’.
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.”
People may 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 today between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.