The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has officially opened its £5 million Colliers Park National Football Development Centre near Wrexham.
The complex was opened on 22 September, a date that commemorates the 85th anniversary of one of the world’s worst coal mining disasters.
On that date in 1934, an explosion rocked the nearby Gresford mine, killing 236 colliers. The new football centre is named in memory of the miners.
Leading sports contractor CLS Sports worked to ensure that the project was delivered on time and to budget.
The CLS Sports natural and synthetic pitch construction teams laid a full-size FIFA quality accredited 3G pitch alongside two full-size natural turf pitches with full under-pitch drainage and sustainable soakaway.
Completing the £2 million contract, CLS Sports supplied floodlighting, camera gantries, mini grandstands, pitch perimeter fencing, a maintenance shed, hard and soft landscaping and pathways for the Park.
The Welsh national football squads will train on one of the natural grass pitches, along with youth sides – the second grass pitch being hired out to local league and weekend sides.
The 3G pitch, intended for grassroots football training, has been laid on the site of an existing 3G installation at a former training ground.
Much of the stone supplied for the original pitch has been redeployed under its replacement and used in the paths that cross the Park.
CLS Sports employed many of its own specialist plant and machinery, available through its CLS Landscape and Earthworks and CLS Self Drive divisions, to contour the site and lay the pitches.
Sports facility design specialists Geo Turf Consulting conceived the Colliers Park pitch design and layout, having completed a similar project for the FAW’s headquarters at Dragon Park, Newport.
As project managers for the pitch development, Geo Turf oversaw the pitch construction programme, which began last June and was handed over in May (the pitches in March).
Lucy Scott, facility manager operations commercial and strategic for Colliers Park, said:
The centre is attracting plenty of interest and represents a massive benefit for the region, the finest facility of its kind in North Wales.
Welsh players will aspire to come here because Colliers Park carries the wow factor locally, regionally and nationally. It will also function as a focus for the girls’ and women’s game.