Reading: Bearwood Park training ground approved

Reading players train
Reading have trained at Hogwood Park since 2004

Reading have received permission from Wokingham Borough Council for the development of a new training and academy facility at Bearwood Park.

The Berkshire club bought nearly 120 acres in the Bearwood Estate in October 2013, with plans submitted soon after.

Campaigners argued against the development because of the loss of a public golf course, and Reading's own financial issues delayed the project.

The club's training facilities have been based at Hogwood Park since 2004.

It is hoped part of the facility will be in use by the summer of 2016 and it will help ensure the club's academy maintain category one status.

What will Bearwood Park look like?
The new site's plans involve 13 football pitches, including three full-size first-team pitches which will mirror the exact dimensions of the Madejski Stadium, a floodlit all-weather surface and two goalkeeping practice areas. It will house a first-team building and separate academy facility as well as various ancillary buildings. The development will also involve landscaping of the park and the refurbishment of a number of existing buildings.

"We've been working on this development for a couple of years, not including the years we spent looking for the right site," said Reading's chief executive Nigel Howe.

"So now, to have planning permission granted, it is an incredible result for Reading Football Club.

"When we first relocated to Hogwood Park, we thought we had the perfect facility. And it has been a fantastic venue for the club's second home. But especially in terms of the EPPP requirements on the club, we have now outgrown it."