Talented young Fife footballers are set to benefit from a new £2.3 million regional indoor training facility.
The project kicked off this week when councillors and the Scottish Football Association’s peformance director met with some of the boys and girls of Fife Football Performance Academy.
The new training facility is set to be built at the Michael Woods Sports & Leisure Centre in Glenrothes and will be the first of its kind in Fife.
While it will have a focus on training and development for grassroots football programmes and clubs - in particular the year-old academy, which develops youngsters with potential, and Fife Elite Football Academy - it will also be available for rugby clubs and the public for indoor training.
It is hoped that building work will begin later this year on the new facility, which is being funded by £500,000 from sportscotland and £1.8 million from Fife Council’s allocation for investment for pitch development, which was set in the its budget last February and is now part of the council’s Capital Plan.
Councillor Mark Hood, executive committee member, said: “A centrally located facility like this, that we can all make use of all year round, will be a huge strength to the offering here in Fife. For the first time, Fife’s football academies will have the opportunity to do all of their training here in Fife.”
Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “Our aim is to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland and a clear pathway is critical to its success.”
Stephen Wright, head of youth at Fife Elite Football Academy, said the new 3G surface facility would make travel for coaches, parents and players much easier.
It will be operated by Fife Sports & Leisure Trust and will also be available for casual bookings.
An investment in Fifers’ health
Councillor Mark Hood said it was vital that the council continued to invest in the health and wellbeing of Fifers. He said: ”We’ve seen that where investment is made in sporting facilities, attendance increases. It’s also important to stress that we anticipate that, in time, the revenue generated from the facility will pay for its running costs.”
The facility will be built next to the existing outdoor synthetic turf pitches and athletics track.