The American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing, the new training base for Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, was recognised last night (29/9/16) at an awards ceremony to celebrate exceptional examples of planning in the South East.
The development team behind the £32million centre in Lancing won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South East top award for Excellence in Planning for Community and Well-being. The centre boasts a ‘category one status’ under the Premier League’s new Elite Players Performance Plan and ranks alongside any of the training grounds built by the biggest Premier League clubs.
Speaking about the performance centre, Paul Barber, Chief Executive at Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, described the venue as, ‘one of the finest football training and academy facilities anywhere in the world.’
The Royal Town Planning Institute judges commented that:
“Whilst the emphasis of this entry is on community and well-being, it also achieves other aspects of environmental and economic sustainability through green credentials and locally focussed employment and generation income.
The accessible location was chosen through a robust site selection process that provided the opportunity to lift Mash Barn ward, one of the most deprived wards in the Region, particularly in respect of health and education, where the economic benefits of the Training Ground would have the greatest impact.”
The achievement was the result of a successful working relationship between the project team and Adur District Council, who were also recognised by RTPI South East. Peter Rainier, Principal Director of Planning at DMH Stallard, said:
“We’ve been working with the football club on the planning side ever since the move from the Withdean, so to see this incredible facility up and running is a very proud moment for me.
“The Elite Football Performance Centre is everything a professional footballer needs. Indoor and outdoor training pitches and state-of-the-art medical and gymnasium facilities provide the perfect environment for developing the players of today and emerging stars of tomorrow.”
At the awards, Cllr Brian Boggis, Executive Member for Regeneration at Adur District Council, said:
“This award demonstrates that by working together, the Council’s planning team and the developers have been able to deliver superb facilities that are enhancing our community. It’s provided a unique opportunity for Lancing not only to make a positive impact on the community’s health and wellbeing, but to also offer regenerative benefits to the local economy.”
The centre is making a major contribution in the community by giving local people, young and old, access to an internationally recognised venue. Disability sports clubs and groups use the community pitch on a weekly basis, with other bespoke activities regularly scheduled to support people with specific disabilities.