Exeter City FC preparing to start work on new £3milllion training facility

A turf cutting ceremony took place to mark the start of the project. Credit: ITV News

Exeter City football club is preparing to start work on a new £3million training facility.

The first turf was cut today in a ceremony to mark the start of construction at the Cliff Hill Training Ground.

The new building is being constructed off-site using 'modern modular construction techniques', and then transported and erected at the training ground.

An artist's impression of the new training ground Credit: Exeter City FC

The project will cost almost £800,000 more than first expected after new contractors were appointed.

Work is expected to finish in October, with players able to move in from mid-December and the old buildings being demolished in January.

The new ground will cost more than originally anticipated. Credit: Exeter City FC

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."

Cllr Ian Thomas (centre) hosted the turf cutting ceremony. Credit: ITV News

The new structure will replace the existing building, which was built 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.Julian Tagg, club president, 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.”

It was just the sixth promotion in the 121-year history of the club. Credit: ITV News

Last month Exeter City came-from-behind to beat Barrow 2-1 to secure promotion out of League Two.

Matt Jay’s winner 12 minutes from time delighted the near 8000 fans inside St James Park.

After three play-off final defeats at Wembley in the previous five seasons, and two ninth placed finishes, missing out on the play-offs on the final day, City finally got over the line.

It is only the sixth promotion in the 121-year history of the club.