New sports academy proposed for Wirral

THE UK’s largest indoor sport training academy could be set up in Wirral – if planners approve the ambitious scheme.

It would be based in an unused warehouse in Bromborough and would enable youngsters to benefit from top-level coaching skills.

The project would also create 30 new jobs.

Local sports clubs have shown so much interest in the scheme that if it were allowed to proceed it would be booked up for the next two years.

John Granby, one of those behind the proposal for the Excel Sports Academy, said they had searched across the region before stumbling across the warehouse.

It has been empty for six years on the Croft Business Park – just a short walk away from the nearby retail park.

A planning application has been submitted to change the use of the warehouse and convert it.

However, Mr Granby said the existing layout at the site is “perfect for what we need” and “is almost as if it were custom built for what we want”.

He added: “If we had hired an architect to design it from scratch it couldn’t be any better.”

The existing building has changing rooms, a canteen, classrooms and a mezzanine viewing area.

The plan is to create three two-third size pitches, which will all be indoors to that they could be used throughout the year.

Local colleges have already said they would be interested in making use of the facility, as well as sports clubs.
The aim is to provide Football Association coaching accreditation, as well as Rugby Football Union and England and Wales Cricket Board coaching.

Mr Granby said: “This is geared up to be full during the day with schools and colleges, and as a spin-off the local community will be able to access it in the evenings, and there has been a lot of interest from local clubs.

“We reckon that from the day we open we will be fully booked for the first two years.

“This will be the biggest indoor Astroturf sports facility in the country.”

Bromborough councillor Steve Niblock, who has visited the site, said it could be a major facility for Wirral and “unique in the UK”.

He said: “It will be great to see a derelict building given a new lease of life”.

He said: “I wish them all well with their plans, it could be an impressive development for Wirral. I hope it does come off because it would be a stunning facility.

“I like the idea and having seen the building it would be a fantastic facility and unique to the UK – there would no other facility of this size available.”