Lennoxtown training centre
The complex is built on former NHS land adjacent to the vacated Lennox Castle Hospital and was designed to replace Celtic's former training ground at Barrowfield. It is located on a 46-acre (190,000 m2) site near the Campsie Fells, half of the site has been developed in Phase One of the project to provide the existing training facilities with the remaining land being left for development in Phase Two which will provide conference facilities and live-in dormitory areas for young players. The centre houses Celtic’s entire professional footballing operation and will host the home games for Celtic's ladies team.
For many years the training facilities which Celtic provided were seen as substandard and would be hidden from potential new signings. This fact was emphasised after their rivals Rangers opened their Murray Park complex in 2001 and Hearts opened their Riccarton academy with Heriot-Watt University in 2004. A number of club officials and players expressed sadness at leaving Barrowfield but saw it as a necessity for the modern game and that it would aid in helping Celtic attract players to the club.
Prior to its opening Celtic youth team coach Willie McStay stated "after years of shuttling back and forth between Barrowfield, Celtic Park and several other temporary training venues, Lennoxtown will also allow the Youth Academy coaching staff to better utilise their time during the course of a season."
In 2005, Celtic launched a successful share issue which raised £15m, much of this money would be put towards providing new training facilities. Celtic coach Tommy Burns was tasked with undertaking a fact finding mission and travelled across Europe to visit other football clubs' training grounds. Celtic chose sections from Burns's report and this was added to by former Celtic bosses Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan.
In December 2005, East Dunbartonshire Council's Planning Board approved the outline planning application to develop the training facilities on the site. The following April, the council granted a detailed permission with the leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, John Morrison, stating "I'm sure that the residents of East Dunbartonshire are delighted at the prospect of this ambitious development in their area. The Celtic training facility will potentially contribute significantly to the development of Lennoxtown and will also bring wider employment and social benefits to the area.".
The centre was officially opened on 9 October 2007 by Celtic chairman Brian Quinn at a ceremony where he was joined by Chief executive Peter Lawwell, then Celtic manager Gordon Strachan and then Celtic captain Stephen McManus.
Chairman Brian Quinn added "When people come and see the facilities they'll see what I think we are, which is a major European club".
At the opening of the centre Peter Lawwell stated that Celtic "now have a foundation and infrastructure that should take us forward." and that Celtic can "now demonstrate a world-class training centre on top of a world-class stadium, for what I believe is a world-class club. It’s fitting for a club of this stature".
£8 million was spent on the construction. Indoor facilities include an indoor training hall, a fitness centre with gym and fitness suite, physio and medical facilities, sauna and steam room and hydrotherapy pool, Sports science/sports development facility, changing facilities, classroom/education facilities, football administration offices, media facilities, kit room, laundry and Groundsman’s compound.
Outdoor facilities include three full-sized UEFA standard natural grass training and match pitches, with undersoil heating to the main pitch, an artificial grass pitch and an additional goalkeeping training area.
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