Liverpool planning to move training base to Kirkby Academy as part of £50 million redevelopment

Liverpool planning to move training base to Kirkby Academy as part of £50 million redevelopment

Liverpool are reportedly close to confirming plans to merge their Melwood first-team training base with their Kirkby Academy to have all of their various age groups training at one single facility.

Charlie Malam

Liverpool are set to confirm £50 million plans to amalgamate their two training bases to form one complex for their first-team and youth sides, the Liverpool Echo report.

The Reds' senior squad currently train at Melwood, Liverpool's long-time training base, while their youth set-up is five miles across the city in Kirkby.

But Jürgen Klopp is keen to be closer to the club's illustrious Academy, which currently houses 170 youngsters, with the idea for Liverpool to abandon Melwood and develop their Kirkby base with a wide-ranging redevelopment to transform it into a world-class training facility. 

While that would mean leaving an area that Liverpool's first-team have used since the 1950s, Fenway Sports Group have agreed for Klopp to take the next step in his long-term vision of the club and will issue him the funds to do so.

Liverpool have reportedly agreed with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC) to purchase 14 acres of land at the back of the Academy on the Simonswood Playing Fields.

That would take the total space at the Academy up to around 60 acres, with KSS - the same architects who drew up the plans for the new-and-improved Main Stand at Anfield - behind the expansion.

Reds pressing ahead with plans to merge training bases

The new state-of-the-art complex will see all of Liverpool's teams, from the under-9s to the senior squad, based at the same site - with the renovations to include the inclusion of a hydrotherapy complex, a gymnasium and specialist sports rehabilitation suites as well artificial pitches and a pool.

A public consultation period will need to be completed and a planning application submitted to the KMBC within the next few months. If given the permission to go ahead with the project, work will get underway in early 2018.

It is thought that the redevelopment would then take until the summer of 2019 to be completed, allowing the first-team squad to train in pre-season ahead of the 2019-20 campaign at Kirkby.

Liverpool will also commit to helping the local community by upgrading the community pitches near Kirkby, building new changing facilities and adding a carpark while creating new walkways and cycling paths in the nearby park.

Melwood, in West Derby, would be sold for housing - similarly to Merseyside neighbours Everton when they swapped Bellefield for Finch Farm in 2007.

Last summer, Klopp hinted at the amalgamation of the club's two training facilities, saying: "We need to develop the club, we need to develop a lot of things. We’re already building a new stand, we’re thinking about bringing the Academy and Melwood together, things like this."

The German added: "We think about everything at the club and this is much longer-term than my contract. So it’s really important that we do the right things so this wonderful club can be successful."