Midlands & East Anglia

£80 million St. George’s Park edges closer to the goal line

As the new National Football Centre, St. George’s Park will inspire a generation of football fanatics when it opens in the summer of 2012.

St. George’s Park is located on a 330-acre site in Burton upon Trent that was purchased by The FA in 2001. Construction work for the £80 million project began in February 2011 and the project has been fully supported by partners Umbro and Hilton Worldwide.

The aim of the project is to establish St. George’s Park as the sporting destination of choice for coaches, players and officials in order to inspire world-class performance. As a centre of excellence for football development and coach education, St. George’s Park will be home to all 24 England teams from the seniors through to the juniors and teams with cerebral palsy and partial sight.

In total the site will boast 12 pitches, including an elite full-sized pitch that is an exact replica of Wembley Stadium, a full size indoor 3G pitch and an external all-weather 3G pitch. Three of the pitches will be available for community use.

Along with an extensive range of sporting facilities, the site will incorporate a 25,000 sq ft medical complex that will become the first FIFA Centre of Medical Excellence in England. Boasting specialist clinicians and cutting-edge technology, the centre will provide screening, diagnosis and rehabilitation of football and sports injuries.

The sports science complex will also house offices for FA Learning, who are relocating from Wembley. In addition, there will be a hydrotherapy suite and three gymnasiums – one of which is a biomechanical gym that incorporates an altitude gym.

Another exciting feature is a new 228-bed hotel that will be operated by Hilton Worldwide on behalf of the FA. The development will comprise two separate hotels – an 86-bed Hampton by Hilton budget hotel, and a 142-bed Hilton hotel. The new hotel will also include conference and dining facilities, along with a high-end leisure facility.

Main contractor for the St. George’s Park project is Bowmer & Kirkland Group and the architect is RedBox. The project is being managed by leading professional services provider Turner & Townsend.

Mark Smith, Director Turner & Townsend, commented:

“This has been a challenging project due to the pace of the scheme, which has demanded a contract period of 18 months. Furthermore, the principal challenge has revolved around stakeholder management, as there are a huge number of stakeholders whose needs all had to be incorporated within a very tight budget.

“Despite this challenge, this has been an extremely rewarding project for Turner & Townsend. We are enormously proud to be able to deliver this legacy for English football, both on time and on budget. We believe that this is a terrific achievement and the FA is very pleased with what we have managed to achieve so far.”

Former Sheffield United and Bristol City striker, Wayne Allison, now serves the role of Research Manager for Coaching at St. George’s Park. He said:

“I was a professional footballer for over 20 years and I’m delighted that the next stage of my career will be playing a part in the future of English football at St. George’s Park. It’s going to be an exciting time for everyone involved in the game and St. George’s Park really does signal a new era for football development in this country.”

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