Planners issue Newcastle United training ground update as club prepares for pre-season
Newcastle United are still working through the planning process for their proposed training ground extension – as the club’s players prepare to return for pre-season training.
Eddie Howe’s squad, barring those who played international football this summer, are due to report back to the club’s Benton base a week today.
Newcastle submitted a planning application to North Tyneside Council last month for single-storey side and rear extensions to the east side of the outdated complex.
The application, damningly, stated: “The current training facilities available to NUFC fall significantly below the Premier League, and perhaps even Championship, standards.
"As part of the continued efforts of NUFC to improve the facilities and environment for its players, and staff working on site, in the short term the club is looking to invest in redeveloping the current first team training ground by bringing it in line with other Premier League clubs and standards.”
Howe had hoped that the club, which hopes to move to a new site in the long-term, would be able to undertake the bulk of the work over the summer.
"Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly, and we can make those adjustments during the summer with a longer-term plan of moving training ground,” said United’s head coach.
The club, which gave the building an “lighter, brighter” internal makeover last season following the appointment of Howe, is still waiting on planning approval, though contractors have done extensive groundwork at the site in readiness for the build.
Leaked photographs showed preparations for the extension, which will feature a hydro pool and expanded canteen.
The latest planning update reveals that the club has appointed contractors to remove an invasive cotoneaster plant which was identified in an ecological assessment.
Howe believes that an improved training ground environment is essential if the club is to attract “world-class players” in the coming years.
"It’s hugely important for us,” said Howe. “I think you’re day-to-day environment is important now we’re trying to attract world-class players to the club, and, in doing so, you need to give them an environment which matches their status.”
The facility, which adjoins the club’s Little Benton academy site, was built 20 years ago.