Burnley FC bid to transform Gawthorpe training ground

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Burnley Football Club have submitted a detailed application to Burnley Borough Council to transform their Gawthorpe Training facility - “a critical piece of work for the club”, according to chief executive Lee Hoos.

The application is for a new indoor training facility to meet Academy Grade Two requirements, in addition to a new first team and academy training buildings, and the construction of three new pitches.

The club currently has planning permission to alter/extend and build an indoor pitch on the current site, but this would leave no spare capacity to keep up with the changing face of the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan.

The new facility would provide growth and development for Burnley’s first and youth teams to compete at the highest level and attract the next generation of players.

Hoos said: “This is an absolutely critical piece of work for the club.

“It’s great to have a nice stadium, but the players’ place of work is the training ground, so we need to give them the best opportunities for training and development.

“The development of the 60m x 40m indoor facility will also help us get the Academy to Category Two, which again helps to take the club forward in attracting young players.

“When players go in every day to a facility that is purpose built and with good facilities, I think they feel good about their work.

“They know we can probably add something to their carer because we can take care of them, then that in turn helps us to attract more players. So all in all this is a vital development that we need to pursue.”

The planning application would hopefully see the new building constructed on the opposite side of the current bridge that crosses the River Calder, on land currently owned by the football club.

Access to the indoor and outdoor facilities would be via the bridge, and would include various sizes of external football pitches to offer rotational training; an indoor 60m x 40m pitch, changing facilities for the first and youth teams (eight in total), a team meeting room, guest lounge for parents, match analysis suite, medical and sports science facilities, administration facilities for support staff, players’ lounge, catering facilities, drugs testing suite, gymnasium and hydro pool.

Boss Sean Dyche said: “It’s a big step forward. There’s obviously a long way to go with planning etc, but making it open to everyone shows true signs of what we’re looking to do.

“I’ve spoken about it a lot, there has to be a journey beyond the immediate future, the club has been here for what seems forever, and it needs to go on forever.