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Leeds United target new city centre training ground

Leeds United have unveiled plans to build a new training complex in the city, close to their Elland Road ground.

The Championship club is planning to hold talks with Leeds City Council regarding the potential development of a new club training ground in the city.

The current first team training ground is based at Thorp Arch, which is over 40 minutes away from the heart of the City.

In addition, the Club does not own the training facility at Thorp Arch, making it challenging for the club to bring forward their own improvement proposals that would meet the required Category 1 status.

The club was fully taken over by Andrea Radrizzani in May, when he announced the 100% buyout of Leeds United, taking on the remaining 50% of the shares from previous co-owner Massimo Cellino.

The buyout of the Club and the subsequent purchase of the ground by Radrizzani has signalled a new approach by the club and provided a new sense of direction, Leeds City Council said.

Leeds United is looking to move its official training facilities for senior and academy players to the currently vacant former Matthew Murray High School site in south Leeds.

As part of the new develompents, a ‘Community Sports Village’ would be built at Elland Road’s Fullerton Park site.

If a decision is taken subsequently to move forward with these plans, it is proposed that both facilities would, subject to planning permission, open by 2020.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said:

I am pleased that the executive board has agreed that the council and Leeds United can begin talks around a potential new club training ground being developed on the old Matthew Murray High School site in south Leeds.

We know from when the club was previously in the Premier League the impact that a successful and thriving Leeds United can have not just in spreading the Leeds brand around the world, but also in boosting the local economy. Just as important is the power that the club has in the city through its grassroots community and engagement work to enthuse, inspire and make a difference, especially to the lives of young people. The development of a Community Sports Village at the Fullerton Park site is a sign of a renewed ambition at the club to play a significant role in the life of the city off the pitch as well as on it – and that’s what’s been missing for far too long.

These moves also tie in with our ambitions to regenerate Beeston and Holbeck, where the council has built high-quality council homes next to Holbeck Moor and brought empty homes back into use on Beeston Hill. This sits aside bringing activity and purpose seven days a week to the wasteland around the stadium through the ice rink, the park and ride and the police headquarters.