The first turf was cut today in a ceremony to mark the start of the construction of new £2.9million training facilities for Exeter City Football Club.
The new building, at the Cliff Hill Training Ground, will be constructed off-site using modern modular construction techniques, and then transported and erected at the training ground.
The club has appointed Modulek to construct the facilities after the initial contractor, who was selected through a tender process, withdrew from the project. 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.
The proposals for the development were voted on by members of the Supporters’ Trust last year. Financial details were provided to enable members to make an informed decision and the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of the development.
Nick Hawker, chair of the Supporters’ Trust, said:
“As a supporter-owned club, it was important to us to reflect the fact that we are democratic organisation and ensure the supporters had a say in this significant project. It’s fantastic to see the first turf cut today to signal the start of work on the foundations, and we look forward to the project progressing over the coming months.
“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. Modulek has constructed facilities for other football clubs including Bournemouth and Wolves and our project team have worked hard to drive down the cost so there is a reduction from their original tender. Importantly, we have retained all the features of the original plans.”
The new structure will replace the existing dilapidated building, which was constructed in 1974 and was always intended to be a temporary building. Cllr Ian Thomas, Chair of East Devon District Council, cut the first turf to mark the start of the development in the ceremony which was attended by directors of the club and Supporters’ Trust, the project team, representatives from Modulek, and first-team player Jack Sparkes and goalkeeper coach Scott Brown.
The modules that comprise the building will be manufactured off site and transported to the training ground for installation by crane onto the prepared foundations. The club chose this method of construction to ensure the work could be completed alongside the existing building, efficiently and whilst minimising the impact on the day-to-day activities at the training ground.
Artists impression of what the building will look like
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. It is anticipated that the development will be complete by the end of December 2022.
The proposed development provides for a completely new two-storey facility, which will include a new and larger fitness suite, separate canteen facilities (no longer shared with gym), larger changing and physiotherapy facilities, improved office accommodation and multi-use theatre/match preparation/classroom space.
Julian Tagg, president and director of external affairs and football at Exeter City Football Club, said: “Built as a temporary building almost 50 years ago, the existing pavilion has done us proud, but it really is time to improve the facilities, which will make a huge difference to our players, management and the many other staff who are based here.
“The improvement of our training facilities, as all our facilities, is ongoing and massive strides have been made under Trust ownership; a fantastic reflection on our ownership model.”
A campaign to ‘Kit Out the Cliff’ has been launched, where an inventory of items will be sponsored by businesses and individuals. Click here to find out more about how you can help ‘Kit Out the Cliff’ and be part of the Exeter City story!
If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, please visit newtickets.ecfc.co.uk/donations or you can donate directly to the following account:
- ECFCST Light up the Park
- Sort Code: 30.80.37.
- Account: 10751963
For further details please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.