Exeter City Football Club is delighted to announce that work on much-needed new facilities at the Cliff Hill Training Ground is set to begin this month.
The club has appointed Modulek to construct the new building after the initial contractor, who was selected through a tender process, withdrew from the project. The building will be manufactured offsite using modern methods of construction and will be assembled at the training ground.
The pandemic and other global factors have caused huge volatility in the construction sector, impacting on costs and supply of materials, which has contributed to an increase in the original project costs; the development will now cost £2,978,000.
Nick Hawker, chair of the Supporters’ Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to tell our supporters that this work is finally going ahead. The current building is no longer fit for purpose, and although we would have all preferred to have gone ahead at the lower price, the crisis in the construction industry meant this was simply not possible.
“The increase in cost has been underwritten by the Supporters’ Trust by way of the loan facility agreed by its members earlier in the year. Due diligence has also been undertaken on the new contractor, who have constructed facilities for other football clubs including Bournemouth and Wolves. Our project team have worked hard to drive down the cost and there is a reduction from Modulek’s original tender. Importantly, we have retained all the features of the original plans.”
Modulek were the second placed company during the initial tender process. The club board also explored alternatives to negotiating with Modulek and ultimately found these alternatives to be unviable. The main alternatives considered were:
- Restarting the tender process, which would have delayed the project by up to as much as six months and potentially exposed the club to more inflationary pressures, with a consequential increase in the total project cost.
- Other forms of construction, which would have required a new planning permission and would have delayed the project by 12-18 months. Given the comparison exercises carried out as part of the original assessments, there would have been no guarantee that it would be any cheaper and, with the continuing global volatility around construction prices, the end cost could have, in fact, been more expensive.
The building will be manufactured in modules offsite and brought to the Cliff Hill Training Ground where it will be constructed. Work to remove the existing spoil heap will begin on May 23; the first turf will be officially cut at the ground on May 31, and it is anticipated that the foundations will be completed by July 8, enabling much of the work to be undertaken during a quieter period at the training ground and with less operational impact. Following this, there will be little visible activity on site until mid-October, whilst the building is being manufactured offsite.
Modulek sales director Brian Pester said the company was delighted to be working with Exeter City. He added: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Exeter City Football Club, having helped with the design and feasibility a few years ago, we are really happy that we could step in and have pulled out all the stops to get this project off the ground. We were able to quickly re-engineer the project to fit within the club’s committed budget and we will be mobilising on site during the off season to ensure that all the essential groundworks are complete and ready for the construction phase.”
It is anticipated that the building will be delivered in October with a planned handover of the new building during mid-December. To enable a transition from the old building to the new one, the existing pavilion will be demolished in January 2023.
A campaign to ‘Kit Out the Cliff’ has been launched, where an inventory of items will be sponsored by businesses and individuals. To find out more about how you can help ‘Kit Out the Cliff’ and be part of the Exeter City story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.