Liverpool to leave Melwood, redevelop Kirkby Academy into £50m complex


Kirkby Academy

England’s Liverpool Football Club have confirmed plans to leave their historic Melwood training base and transform their Kirkby Academy into a £50million state-of-the-art complex for both the first team and youth set-ups.

Melwood has been Liverpool’s training base since the 1950s but under the new plans announced on February 22, it will be sold off for 160 family homes.

Liverpool intends to purchase 14 acres of land at Simonswood playing fields at the rear of the Kirkby Academy to expand the current site to around 60 acres and hope to have the work completed by 2019.

The £50 million proposal from the Reds, and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC), includes the construction of a new combined training centre, the redevelopment of the existing facilities at the Academy and designs to convert the main pitch into an indoor pitch, with the aim of bringing the first-team and Academy operations and facilities together on one site.

The plans also include improvements for local residents and the community playing fields at Simonswood Lane.

KMBC will lead on proposals to provide new and improved football pitches and sports facilities to the area, working closely with local football teams, including Kirkby AFC, providing them with new changing facilities and car park.

The surrounding area will also see improvements which include new dog-walking and cycling paths, new lighting and improved security with a CCTV system.

Liverpool are also proposing a redevelopment of the club’s existing first-team training ground at Melwood. This proposed development could provide around 160 family homes in West Derby and newsletters have been posted to local residents to seek their feedback on the proposals.

Andy Hughes, chief operating officer at Liverpool FC, said: “Our proposed plans to bring the first team and young players together in one location is a really exciting proposition. The scheme includes state-of-the-art facilities which will be used to support the development of our players and provides all-weather training options.

“We are also working closely with Knowsley Council on plans to make substantial improvements for the local community. These include new and improved football pitches and sports facilities to support grass roots and amateur football teams, and developments to the surrounding areas for local residents.

To enable the proposals to go ahead, LFC will need to purchase additional land immediately adjacent to the Academy site and close part of Moss Lane between Simonswood Lane and Arbour Lane.

A public consultation will be held on March 8 at Northwood Community Centre and will be open to local residents and the wider community. Residents will have the opportunity to view the proposed plans, speak with members of the project team and leave their feedback.

More details on the project is expected to be revealed at Coliseum Summit EUROPE, March 29-30, 2017 at Budapest, Hungary.

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