New training complex for Carlisle United


Carlisle United to develop new training facility Image: Welcome to Brunton Park, Rose and Trev Clough, CC BY-SA 2.0

English Football League Two club Carlisle United is set to invest millions of pounds to create a state-of-the-art training complex.

The club is working with Cumberland Council on plans to develop the upper plateau of the Sheepmount Stadium in Carlisle into a modern training facility for the club. It is hoping to secure a five-year lease on the city centre site from the council.

Carlisle United said the proposed development forms part of the club’s long-term vision to be at the heart of the community, which could also result in capital investment in grass roots football within the city.

The club said the transformative initiative would mark a significant investment in both the club and the city of Carlisle.

The project will not only enhance Carlisle United’s training capabilities but also contribute to the improvement of existing community sports facilities at the Sheepmount. The development will proceed in phases.

Carlisle United’s ambition is to put in place professional amenities that will benefit both the club and local grassroots teams.

The club’s owner, Castle Sports Group, said it is committed to financing this initiative entirely, ensuring no financial burden on Cumberland Council or the local community.

Cumberland Council will be shortly consulting on proposals for the establishment of a five-year lease on part of the site. Subject to the outcome of this consultation and release of the land by Cumberland Council, the club would like to have a useable pitch ready for the first team to use before winter.

Tom Piatak, Chairman of Carlisle United Football Club said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Cumberland Council on this flagship project.

“This facility will not only elevate our training standards but also serve as a beacon for community engagement and sports development in Carlisle.”

The facility is designed to be an inclusive community asset, reflecting Carlisle United’s dedication to driving positive change through substantial private investment in local sports infrastructure.

Darren Crossley, Cumberland Council’s Director of Place, Sustainable Growth and Transport said, “We are delighted to be working alongside Carlisle United FC, GLL and local clubs to support the growth of this community partnership. As part of the proposed leasing agreement, Carlisle United has committed to an initial investment programme that will result in lasting benefits for existing users of the site and grass roots football in our region.

“We know that they are keen to engage with the community and develop a longer-term masterplan from the site and look forward to seeing their vision come to life. We will be shortly consulting on proposals for a five-year lease as we recognise the importance of making sure all voices are heard before any final decision is made.

“The consultation process is a vital step in ensuring that the proposal for a five-year lease meets the needs and expectations of the residents.”

Tom Rice Cumberland Partnership Manager for GLL, who manage the Sheepmount site on Cumberland Council’s behalf, said, “We are excited to welcome Carlisle United FC to the Sheepmount.

“We are looking forward to seeing the positive investment in both the upper plateau and grass pitch football in Carlisle that this project will bring.”

Carlisle United has a plan in place which will, subject to the council’s approval, result in the club using the upper plateau football pitches at the Sheepmount as a new training ground.

The phased plan will initially allow for provision to be maintained within the club’s leased area for league football to continue in the 2024/2025 season. This will be in place until alternative provision has been put in place.

The club is planning to invest £50,000 into grass roots football with improvements locally. There will be engagement with football stakeholders to ensure the best provision can be supported.

GLL, the Cumberland FA and clubs who used the upper plateau have been consulted and no other users of the site will be affected.

Under proposals car parking provision will remain the same, as will changing facilities and the rifle club will be unaffected; the athletics stadium will also continue to operate as normal as will the vast majority of pitches at the site.

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