HUDDERSFIELD Town have been busy signing contracts – but there’s not another new player to unveil.
This time they’re boosting their training facilities for the players and the wider community too.
They’ve agreed a landmark deal with Kirklees Council for a 20-year lease for land on the opposite side of the Huddersfield Broad Canal from Town’s Canalside complex.
The deal will see Town sort the drainage problems out, upgrade the facilities, care and maintain the pitches and allow them to be available for the community to use. A perimeter fence will be put around them.
Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark said: “This deal is a key part of the overall development plans for Canalside and it is great that the renovation is gathering pace.
“I know the club has worked very hard to secure this deal and, from my perspective, development of the Canalside complex, including these new pitches, is paramount to our success.
“The vision is to have a top-class training ground and moving towards that can only be beneficial to the quality of player we can attract to the club and for development of home-grown talent.”
Under the arrangement, extensive work will be carried out by Town on the land, which incorporates three full sized pitches. It brings their total number of training pitches to eight.
They’ll safeguard community use and bring the pitches up to their own professional standards.
Having successfully obtained planning permission, the club is already pushing ahead by improving the drainage, playing surfaces and access to the site, together with improved fencing, all in readiness for the 2011-12 season on August 6 when the face Bury at home.
Huddersfield Town chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “At a time when Kirklees Council is clearly under budget pressure for capital investment and also for day-to-day spending, this deal will result in better facilities for the community to use, while at the same time reducing the financial burden on the council and improving the facilities available to the club.”
He said the improvements would boost not only the first team but also Town’s Academy too.
Mr Clibbens added: “Historically the pitches over the canal have suffered from severe drainage problems, which have rendered them unusable for large parts of the year, but our investment will change all that, while at the same time improving the quality of the playing surface.
“It shows what can be achieved by being creative and willing to adopt new ways of doing things, but critically how the financial support and vision of Dean Hoyle is making a real difference.”
Kirklees Council Cabinet member Clr David Sheard, who is responsible for parks and landscapes, said: “It is a win-win scenario – great news for football, the community and the club at no cost to the taxpayer.”
Pitches can be booked through the Canalside website or the reception there.