ARCHITECTS have spoken of their pride at designing a revolutionary new National Football Development Centre for Wales.
Wrexham-based Lawray Architects attended the launch of the cutting-edge £5million facility in Gresford on Sunday (September 22).
Directors David Hughes, who hails from the town, and Keith O’Hanlon worked with the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Wrexham County Borough Council, Glyndwr University and the Welsh Government to create the Colliers Park development.
Delivered by Wrexham-based Read Construction, the development was project managed by Just Solutions.
The high-class training facilities include two FIFA-standard grass pitches, a 3G pitch, changing facilities, learning suites, a dedicated player zone, cutting edge video analysis rooms and a medical suite.
Keith and David joined civic dignitaries, FAW CEO Jonathan Ford and FAW President Kieran O’Connor at the unveiling, which was preceded by a service at the Miner’s Wheel Memorial in Pandy to mark the 85th anniversary of the Gresford Colliery Disaster.
“It was a huge honour for us to play a part in the project,” said David.
“As a Wrexham company we are particularly proud to see this scheme come to fruition and delighted the Centre has been so well-received.
“It will play a major role in the development of young footballers from across North Wales and beyond, supporting the FAW’s commitment to grass roots football and the community.
“Given the area’s history as the birthplace of football in Wales, it is fitting that Colliers Park will be at the heart of its future.”
Keith added: “The building and facilities will be a major asset to the locality and to the development of elite youth players in this region, as well as university students and teams in the area.
“The completed project provides a dynamic range of benefits, and we hope it will be utilised and enjoyed for generations to come.”
The facilities at Colliers Park have recently been tested by the Wales National Senior Men’s and U21 squads ahead of their UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers and UEFA Euro 2021 qualifiers respectively, in addition to hosting a UEFA U15 Development Tournament and the 2019 Cymru Cup.
The National Football Development Centre will benefit Welsh football both nationally and locally, offering improved development, recruitment and participation opportunities for talented young boys and girls and the wider football workforce in North Wales.
Mr Ford said: “The FAW was founded in Wrexham in 1876 and it is fantastic to see the new National Football Development Centre based in an area of Wales with an important and rich football history.
“We look forward to Colliers Park complementing the work at Dragon Park in Newport, to help raise the standards of Welsh football and strengthen our player pathway, coaching, workforce and development opportunities.”