National Football Centre, Burton upon Trent by Redbox Design Group
[FIRST LOOK] The Redbox Design Group has unveiled its proposals for the new national football centre in Burton upon Trent
The planned £100 million home of English football, inspired by Real Madrid’s state-of-the-art training centre, aims to reverse the influx of foreign coaches into the game in England.
The practice said it had been most impressed by Real Madrid’s training facility after visiting similar set-ups in France, Italy, Holland and Germany. Plans will be submitted for a linked hotel and office complex on the 134ha site, with mid-2012 the target date for completion.
An original proposal, designed by BDP back in 2002, was ditched in 2005 after the Football Association (FA) diverted cash to fund Wembley.
David Sheepshanks, chairman of the NFC – now renamed St George’s Park – insisted the financial issues were now close to being resolved. He admitted there was still ‘a manageable gap’ but a private housing scheme for 30 homes is part of the plan to plug it.
Sheepshanks said: ‘The funding process is at an advanced stage but we have to wait until the tendering of the hotel. We are down to a shortlist of four hoteliers, any one of which we would be happy to work with. For the balance we already have the majority of the funding in place, through sponsors Umbro, some grant funding and FA funding which was always pledged.’
Redbox architect Alan Smith said Real had been then inspiration, adding: ‘Real Madrid have the best facilities; they are stunning. We have aimed to include the best parts of that in this centre.’
The FA has already invested £25 million in the project since 2001 and the plans for the site feature 12 pitches, including one synthetic and indoor, as well as sports medicine and sports science facilities, two hotels and a conference centre. The League Managers’ Association has also committed to making the new centre its headquarters.