Liverpool have finalised plans to develop our Kirkby base into a mega facility which includes the first-team and youth squads, it’s been revealed in the Echo.
The project will cost £50m, and will see Liverpool exit the Melwood training ground which we’ve used since the 1950s.
Here’s seven things you need to know about the build:
-The idea is entirely Jurgen Klopp’s. He wants to merge the first-team and Academy and create fusion between the two, in an attempt to ease the transition of youngsters into Liverpool’s first-team. He’s found the five mile gap between the two set-ups very annoying since taking over.
-FSG will pay the £50m cost, which proves their long-term commitment to Liverpool following the Main Stand expansion which opened this season.
-An agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council regarding the type of work and how we’re going to pay for it has already been reached, although planning permission has not yet been granted. If it is, work will start in 2018.
-We’re buying the neighbouring Simonswood playing fields so as to expand the Kirkby base by 60 acres. Melwood will be sold for new housing builds which will partly finance the operation.
-Liverpool hope to move the first-team into Kirkby before the start of the 2019/20 season – two and a bit seasons from now.
-The same architect company that built the Main Stand, KSS, are being contracted for the redevelopment. They also build Tottenham’s new training facilities, which crucially merged Academy and first-team.
-We originally wanted to redevelop Melwood and integrate the Academy that way, but the base simply isn’t big enough.