Aston Villa have revealed plans to build a brand new inner city football academy next to their stadium in Birmingham.
The Premier League football club has lodged an application with the city council to develop the state-of-the-art complex on land off Tame Road, close to Villa Park and Witton station.
It says it hopes to attract players from inner city suburbs who would otherwise struggle to attend its main training complex in Bodymoor Heath, north east of the city near Sutton Coldfield.
The new base would contain a full-size indoor 3G pitch, an outdoor and floodlit 3G pitch, six changing rooms, an office, parents lounge, staff parking and storage.
As well as being used by the club’s youth academy teams, it would also be available to the local community and for the club’s foundation work.
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The application covers two sites either side of the River Tame which is currently used by match-day staff as a car park.
The plans mirror Aston Villa’s new £14 million academy base at Bodymoor Heath which opened during the summer following a two-year build project.
Rugby-based practice HB Architects has designed the new academy.
It is the same firm which worked on the Holte Suite at Villa Park and the revamp of Bodymoor Heath which had to undergo a redesign because the HS2 high-speed rail line will cut through part of the site.
HB Architects also created the indoor training pitch at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC which sits inside a huge ‘dome’, with plans for a similar building at the new Villa academy.
A planning statement said: “The new youth academy is a facility that will be available by invitation to young players in the city who are selected as part of the club’s academy programme.
“By providing the facility in the shadow of the main stadium, and also in an urban location that is easily accessible on foot, cycle and by public transport, there is a greater opportunity for those young people who may not have access or the support to travel the 12km to the Bodymoor Heath training ground facility.
“The Witton Road Academy proposals are modest and focus on providing appropriate football training facilities on single indoor and outdoor pitches.
“A purpose-built, two-storey building will provide the required changing facilities, a lounge for players and parents to use that overlooks the indoor pitch and ancillary office space.”