QPR open state-of-the-art training ground, ending 11-year saga

Former players. bondholders and Board members were present for the opening of QPR's new training ground

Former players. bondholders and Board members were present for the opening of QPR's new training ground

QPR have officially opened their new state-of-the-art training complex in Heston.

The 27-acre site will house both first team and Academy and features seven pitches, a hydropool, changing facilities, dining area, offices and a large gym.

Club legend Gerry Francis opened the new facility yesterday (Wednesday June 21st), with Chairman Amit Bhatia, CEO Lee Hoos, Head Coach Gareth Ainsworth and former Director of Football Les Ferdinand also on hand.

The facility was partly funded by a bond scheme taken up by 1,500 investors, which raised £6.75m towards the total cost, which is reported to have been £20m.

The complex sits adjacent to the M4 at Heston in Hounslow and was designed by Italian practice Studio Zoppini Architects with a project team including engineer Buro Happold, contract administrator Arcadis and planning firm HGH.

Studio Zoppini described the main building as being “sensitive and coherent”, with “unified facilities for the club”, while providing “a focal point for engagement with the community” and flexibility “for the future needs both of its players and the needs of the site.”

The gym and dining areas open up to views across the practice pitches and surrounding countryside. Five of the training pitches have the hybrid GrassMaster system, with “a comprehensive drainage system, full irrigation and energy efficient under-pitch heating."

Environmental considerations were to the fore, with 922 square metres of solar photovoltaic panels, extensive use of air source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

An indoor dome is set to be built at the site within the next two years, but in the mean time the Academy will continue to use the dome at the adjacent Cranford Community School. QPR aim to upgrade to Category One Academy status within the next few years following the opening of their new site.

Yesterday brought to an end the long saga of QPR building a new training ground. In 2012, the club identified Warren Farm in Hanwell as their preferred site and had planned to move in at the start of the 2013/14 season.

However, the 60-acre project was beset by legal challenges from local residents and in May 2020 the club finally abandoned plans to move there.

After that, they switched their attention to the 27-acre Concorde Centre site in Heston, which was already home to the club’s Academy.

Contracts were exchanged with site owners Imperial College in July 2020 and the freehold was acquired by QPR Holdings Ltd the following December. Demolition work then finally began in February 2022.

The site is more than double the size of QPR’s previous Harlington base, which was also owned by Imperial College, and had been regarded as unfit for purpose for some time.

Funding for the project has come from the club’s owners and a bond scheme taken up by 1,500 investors. The QPR bond was available through Tifosy Capital and Advisory, the sports advisory and capital solutions firm that was co-founded by the late Gianluca Vialli.

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