Portsmouth FC will have a long-term training base in the city from later this year after a deal to create a modern training centre for the club at the Roko Health Club site on Copnor Road, was signed.
The agreement will see Pompey invest significant funds to initially create two state-of-the-art training pitches, as well as integrate and re furbish the existing football changing rooms and Player Lounge facilities at the rear of the site. The club will also install offices for football department staff and create a purpose-designed fitness suite for the players.
The club has signed a long term lease with Roko, whose Health Club services and facilities at the Copnor Road site will be unaffected. Local football club Pickwick will also benefit with their teams moving their training and playing operation to Alexandra Park after the City Council joined with Roko and PCFC to help find them a long term new home.
Contractors have been working on the site since April and the club hopes to be using the facility by the end of the summer. In the meantime the club will continue to use its training facility at the University of Portsmouth.
Pompey Chief Executive Mark Catlin said: “We are delighted with this deal and are very grateful to Roko, the council and Pickwick FC for making it happen. It is further tangible evidence of our commitment to rebuild the club to ensure it can continue to grow sustainably in the future.
“Andy Awford and his staff have all been involved in the discussions and they are looking forward to using the new training ground which is being designed to their specification. We see these works as a first phase and if, as we are confident, the club continues to progress, the site can be expanded and developed.”
Mike Saunders PST Board Member for Stadium and Infrastructure, who advised the design element of the project and procured the planning application package, said "It's a fantastic achievement of Portsmouth Community Football Club to have resolved the training ground issue just 14 months after taking over the Club. It was an important aspect of the Club that many of the Club's previous owners had failed to deliver in the past, despite far greater resources at their disposal.
This news is a great example of how the PST's bid to buy the Club was not just about saving it, but about building it into a football club with a sustainable future. Having a training ground in the city will not only provide a base for the first team, but just as crucially, the Academy, offering a legacy to the youth of Pompey.
The project team have been working on this for the last 6 months or so, and the whole project demonstrates key advantages of having fan led ownership, by drawing on the wide range of professional services and skill groups from the PST, the Presidents and within the Club to successfully deliver this project and saving the Club the expense of professional fees and services in the process.
Current and potential shareholders are reminded that our event at Fratton Park on Saturday (11am-3pm) will see plans for the new training base on show.
Pictured left - Pam Wilkins, Mike Saunders & Mick Williams at today's media conference at ROKO