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Posh and Nene Park Academies pitching for a positive future

Its futuristic design wouldn't look out of place for teams in Munich, Barcelona or Milan

But the significant revamp of the football training facilities shared by Peterborough United Football Club at Nene Park Academy, if approved, will be in the heart of our city and help a number of different communities.

Our gallery above shows what to expect if the covered 3G pitch gets the go ahead from Peterborough City Council, which also includes additional changing and educational facilities to support the club after it received approval for EFL Academy Category 2 status – the second highest available for academies.

Training facilities have been shared by Peterborough United Football Club at Nene Park Academy for 15 years. The football club has recently agreed a 25-year lease with Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, the Trust that runs the secondary school.

Nene Park Academy is proud of the relationship with Peterborough United with many Academy graduates educated at the school going on to play first team football including current squad members Ricky Jade-Jones and Flynn Clarke.

In our latest Peterborough Natters podcast we spoke to Kieran Scarff, Academy Manager for Peterborough United Football Club, and Robin Grover, Principal at Nene Park Academy, on what the new facilities could bring to the area.

We also spoke about how both academies have been looking after some of their youngsters who have been unable to attend lessons or sessions.

Robin said: “Both CMAT and Nene Park Academy unreservedly support these plans for a new pitch and associated first-class facilities within the academy grounds, to support Peterborough United’s strong ambition to gain Category 2 status.

“We are proud to enjoy a very solid relationship with the football club with hundreds of our pupils and children from across Peterborough able to benefit from the existing facilities and football training activities.

“For Nene Park Academy, the proposed covered new pitch will not only allow further capacity in our core PE lessons, but also our GCSE, A-Level and BTEC Sports students will benefit from decreased threat from any inclement weather, which would potentially affect practical activities.”

Kieran said: “The ongoing success of the existing training academy at the Nene Park Academy site has fostered the ambition to achieve full EFL Academy Category 2 status which would be a tremendous boost for Peterborough United Football Club.

“In order to achieve this we will require additional facilities not yet in existence at the Academy and this planning application with the indoor dome, that is required at Category 2 level, will have a huge impact, not just on the players within the Academy, but also the wider Peterborough community.”

In plans developed in close consultation with Peterborough City Council, the pitch would be the minimum size of 60 yards by 40 yards with a 4-metre run off area. The total size of the double layer skin air dome would be 63 metres by 45 metres with a height of 11 metres at the highest point.

The dome is constructed as such so there would be no light spillage from the facility. Under the plans, the current lakeside building would be demolished to extend the existing car park facilities.

Jason Neale, co-owner of Peterborough United Football Club, said: “We are delighted to take this next step in our aspirations to become a Category 2 academy. The enhanced facilities will be of benefit to Peterborough United Football Club, Nene Park Academy and the wider community through providing access to much needed indoor playing space and, importantly, it’s environmentally designed to ensure it’s a visual addition to the area”.

Among the local community benefits within the proposal would be walking football clubs for adults of all ages, a programme to increase the number of women in football and increasing the PAN disability provision at the facility.

These benefits would support Peterborough City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy in areas including ensuring that young people have the best opportunities in life to enable them to become healthy adults and make the best of their opportunities in life.

The planning application document was prepared by P and R Architects.

Communication related to the proposal has been distributed to the immediate neighbours of the school and wider community.

For further information on the application contact kayleigh.stent@theposh.com