Sheffield United have confirmed improvements to their training ground have been given the green light by the board.
A new two-storey training centre will be built at their existing Shirecliffe site in time for 2021. As well as office facilities, the first team complex will consist of a gym, training area, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy zones.
It will sit between the two buildings already in place and by the training pitches.
Work will begin later this year, with it initially constructed off site, before being moved to Shirecliffe later. This is designed to minimise disruption to Chris Wilder and his team.
“This is will be a great addition to our armoury and will aid in giving the training ground a Premier League feel,” Wilder told the club’s website.
“We are delighted that the board have given supported this development and are hopeful that the additional elements that come with the new building will help us move to the next level.”
What next for Sheffield United after training ground improvements?
This development is expected to be just the start of what owner Prince Abdullah described as “good news” for the club.
Along with the work at Shirecliffe, the other imminent improvements are expected to take place at Bramall Lane. The plan is to remove the pillars from The Kop to improve the viewing experience for fans.
It was initially hoped these could be completed before the 2020/21 season. However, the delay in the Saudi Prince taking control of assets from Kevin McCabe – as well as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – has pushed this back.
The development of Shirecliffe is also expected to trigger a move for the academy. Currently based alongside the first team, they are likely to relocate to a separate place. The old RAF Norton Aerodrome site has been earmarked.
This move would allow the club to meet the requirements for category one status under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
In the long term there are also plans to increase the capacity at Bramall Lane. However, that is unlikely to take place for the foreseeable future.