South West Wales

Swansea City FC and Swansea University in training ground deal

Michael Laudrup and Prof Richard B Davies
Image caption Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup and Swansea University vice chancellor Pro Richard B Davies at the launch of the deal

A state-of-the-art training facility for footballers in Swansea is to be set up after a deal between a university and the city's football club.

Swansea University and Swansea FC will jointly own the facility which will include eight full-size pitches.

The Premier League club have never had their own training ground but will now be leasing land at Fairwood which is owned by the university.

The first pitches could be ready by October with the rest built in phases.

Swansea University has not said how much the facility - which once completed will have eight full-size pitches and two all-weather pitches - will cost.

Changing facilities and specialist medical rooms will also be built.

The first of the pitches could be ready by October with the rest of the development being built in phases over the next 12 to 18 months.

The university will also use the facilities for competitive fixtures and team training.

"We are delighted to join forces with Swansea University on this exciting project,'' said Swans chairman Huw Jenkins.

"Our aim as a football club has always been to develop a top-flight training facility, but also to develop a good working relationship with like-minded organisations and people.

"Swansea City and Swansea University will work together to enhance the sporting facilities at Fairwood that will form part of the fabric of the city for many years to come."

Swansea University vice chancellor Prof Richard B Davies said the deal represented a major addition to the sports facilities on offer by the university.

'Privilege'

He added: "At Swansea University we are serious about sporting success. We have already invested £20m in our sports village.

"We want to be able to offer our students an outstanding sporting experience with facilities fit for the 21st Century.

Image caption Swansea City's new facility being built in Landore

"Today's agreement is a big step forward to help us achieve that and it is a particular delight and privilege to collaborate with a football club whose success has put Swansea on the global map."

Swansea council's cabinet member for regeneration, Nick Bradley said the contributions both the Swans and the university make to Swansea Bay helps to drive the local economy.

In June, the Swans announced building of a new facility at Landore available for use from mid-September which would be available for junior, youth, first-team and community use.

The Swans playing squad have begun their pre-season tour of America.

They will play their first friendly against Colorado Rapids at 02:00 BST on Wednesday where a minute's silence will be observed following last week's Aurora shooting tragedy.

Rapids play at a stadium a little over 10 miles from the cinema in Aurora where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 more during a screening of Batman.

James Holmes, 24, has appeared in court accused of the attack.

Rapids players will also wear black armbands at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

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