Liverpool have seen their plans for a new £50m first-team training facility approved.
The Merseyside club have been based at their facility in Melwood since the 1950s but in February this year, they announced their plans to move their base of operations to Kirby, where the club’s youth teams have been based.
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council have now approved the club’s application to transform the Kirby complex to accommodate both the first-team and youth team programmes, with the senior side to make the five-mile move up the road in time for the 2019-20 season.
Peter Moore, LFC’s chief executive officer, said: “Today’s approval by KMBC is another step on the journey in achieving our vision to bring our first-team players and young players together on one site.
“We have received positive feedback from local residents and businesses on our proposals during the public consultation earlier this year and we thank them for their continued support.
“As part of the planning process, we will now submit more detail on the scheme to KMBC before we have the certainty that we need to progress with the redevelopment of the site.”
Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “The council and LFC have worked closely with the local community throughout the planning process and we are pleased the plans have received such an overwhelmingly positive response.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have agreed to sink £50m into the project which manager Jurgen Klopp has been the key driving force behind.
The redevelopment at Kirby will begin in 2018 and will include “the construction of a new combined training centre, the redevelopment of the existing facilities at the Academy and designs to convert the main pitch into an indoor pitch. The plans also include improvements to community playing fields at Simonswood Lane.”