South East Wales

Wales football centre plans in Newport set for approval

The site in Newport already has a velodrome, tennis centre and cricket facilities
Image caption The site in Newport already has a velodrome, tennis centre and cricket facilities

Multi-million pound plans for a national football training centre in Newport have been recommended for approval by the city council.

The Football Association of Wales wants to build a new headquarters with sports science and education facilities.

The centre would also be used to develop players from under-14 to under-21 level, and would provide a training facility for the senior Wales team.

It is earmarked for the Newport International Sports Village at Spytty.

The site already houses a velodrome, cricket and indoor tennis centre and is also home to Newport County FC, who play their home matches at the athletics stadium.

The proposals would see the senior squad moving from their current base at the Vale of Glamorgan in Hensol to new grass and artificial pitches.

It is anticipated the artificial pitch would be used by the public and local football clubs, while the grass pitch would be used by the national squad.

Fifa backing

There are also plans for a new 100-seater grandstand and a 44-space car park, while some squash courts and changing rooms could make way for a laundry.

Meanwhile, the football association's new headquarters is set to be two storeys high.

Last April, it was revealed that the first phase of the Newport development was expected to be ready within 18 to 24 months.

The then Wales manager Gary Speed said plans for the national football training facility were "essential".

"We are a small nation and we need to develop an identity and our way of playing to ensure our success in the future," said Speed.

The project has backing from the European and world football organisations, Uefa and Fifa, who are pledging up to 3m euro (£2.5m) to help build it.

Newport City Council's planning committee will vote on the plans on Wednesday.

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