Aston Villa open new £6m High Performance Centre

ASTON VILLA have opened a new £6m High Performance Centre that takes their sports science, strength and conditioning, rehab and sports therapy to “elite 21st-Century standards”.

The new two-storey building is in front of the first-team training pitches at Bodymoor Heath and features a state-of-the-art gym, indoor 50-metre running track, sand box, match analysis room, meeting and treatment rooms and a balcony.

The facility is said to have been inspired by the Minnesota Vikings’ Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, with chief executive Christian Purslow, manager Dean Smith and the club’s performance staff having visited there during the close season in 2019.

Work on the High Performance Centre began in January 2020, after planning permission had been initially granted by North Warwickshire Borough Council in March 2019.

The ground floor features a huge gym, while the second floor houses the club’s performance and medical staff, led by Head of Performance Jeremy Oliver.

Work is continuing on multi-media analysis facilities, a mini auditorium and individual player coaching and meeting areas, with work due for completion before pre-season training in July 2021.

Prince William officially opened the facility yesterday and Purslow said: “Creating a high-performance culture needs the right facilities. The mission of the Aston Villa Board since the summer of 2018 has been to bring our performance, strength, conditioning, rehabilitation and sports therapy functions up to 21st-century standards.

“We have created a new High Performance Centre; an environment suited to 21st century elite sports. The High Performance Centre will be used not only by our men’s first team, but our women’s team together with our boys and girls in the Academy, all of whom are based here at Bodymoor Heath.

“This training complex is now one of the finest in UK sport. Today, Aston Villa has a training ground it can truly be proud of.”

Owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have been carrying out significant work behind the scenes since taking over at Villa in the summer of 2018.

Last summer the club completed a new £14m Academy base at Bodymoor Heath, following a two-year build, and they have also submitted plans for an ‘Inner City Academy’ in Birmingham.

The new Academy is next to its former one and was effectively funded by compensation from the government for the HS2 project, which is proposed to go through the corner of Villa's old Bodymoor Heath training ground.

As Purslow said last year: “Under the law associated with those major civil engineering projects we were able to show what we would be losing and that HS2 would be required to replace that."

Villa's CEO has previously said that the High Performance Centre would “increase the workspace for the physical preparation by our athletes by a factor of eight” and was “an absolutely enormous project.”

A planning report last year said the club’s old gym was “regularly overcrowded” and that there were “difficulties in managing the facility where young Academy students might be using equipment alongside adults.”

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