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Crystal Palace Academy redevelopment starts

Bromley Council’s Planning Department has formally granted Planning Permission for Crystal Palace FC’s Academy redevelopment works, following approval from the Greater London Authority.

Renovation work will now commence on the building interiors, creating new classrooms for the 220 young players and office space for staff.

A state of the art gym facility will also be prioritised in the coming months, whilst cladding the original pavilion building, and the creation of a new terrace is planned for later in the summer.

Pitch enhancements have also begun, and a contractor has been appointed for the covered pitch, with works due to begin in August. The entire project is expected to be complete by the end of the 2021 summer.

The club has also formally submitted an application to the Premier League for Category 1 status – the highest Academy status possible – with assessment due in August.

The club secured a long-term lease for the site on Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, in December 2018.

All Academy players will be able to train at the site, rather than being spread across multiple facilities.

The new facilities will include a full-size covered pitch; a full-size 3G pitch; a full-size ‘show’ pitch with seating for up to 500 spectators; and six grass training pitches.

New educational facilities will be built, with up to five classrooms, lecture rooms and meeting spaces. Eight tutors and a full-time psychologist will be on site to ensure that young players receive the best education and welfare provision.

A new medical treatment, rehabilitation and sports science facility will also be a feature of the site.

The club employs 35 full-time and 100 part-time staff at the Academy and expects to recruit another 20 scouts to ensure it continues to unearth the best young talent from south London and beyond. Thirty-five players have come through the Academy ranks in the last 15 years, making more than 1,000 appearances for the Eagles.

The site will also be available for community use through Palace For Life Foundation, bringing additional community benefits. Palace For Life runs football schools, disability teams and community engagement initiatives, using the power of sport and the Palace brand to change the lives of young people in south London.