Cambridge United start construction work on new training ground building
Cambridge United are set to start work on a new £3.2m training ground building at Clare College.
This follows agreement on a new long-term lease with the college and planning permission from the City Council.
Since the purchase of the Abbey Stadium back in September the club’s primary focus off the field has been on developing the training facilities at Clare College to provide a fit for purpose elite performance environment for first team and Under 18 players, as well as coaching and support staff.
The new building will replace existing portacabins and the club’s use of the changing room facilities within the old cricket pavilion.
Works are expected to be completed by mid-Autumn, with temporary facilities being used at the adjacent Cambridge University Press’s CASS Centre in the meantime.
Cambridge United CEO, Alex Tunbridge, said: “This is a big moment and a pivotal project for the club as it represents a significant step forward in our ambition to become a sustainable club at this level.
“Providing an elite environment in which players and staff can train, work, learn and spend time together is essential and an important platform for future success.
“I am sure I speak on behalf of all fans in thanking our owners who have committed significant investment in the past 12 months to purchase the Abbey Stadium, develop the training ground and at the same time ensure we have a competitive playing budget.
“Our thanks also go to Clare College who continue to be great partners and friends of the club.”
Alongside the training ground, early work has also started on plans to redevelop the Abbey Stadium, with initial feasibility plans being drawn up by Holmes Miller to rebuild the Habbin and Newmarket Road End stands, as well as provide a new Ticket Office and Club Shop.
“We are clearly at the early stage of this project; we all know money is not infinite so our focus so far has been around overall feasibility, developing capacity models and understanding how we can get the most from the site whilst understanding the potential budget requirements,” Tunbridge continued.
“To utilise the site to the best level possible we need to explore relocating the Supporters Club first. We have made an initial proposal to their Committee about relocating them onto the existing Thrifty Van Rental site – that we purchased last year – and meeting the costs of the new facility.
“We have also offered to involve them in the design planning of the new building so it suits their needs, whilst guaranteeing no interruption of service provision, as they would not need to move from one building to the other until work is completed.
“To do this, a Supporters’ Club EGM will need to be called and members will need to agree to the proposal, which the Supporters Club lawyers have been considering since the end of last year.
“We hope this will happen soon as time is pressing on and the club is keen to move to the next stage of this important project.”