Chief executive praises those who have made new training base a reality
‘One of the most significant investments in the club in almost a quarter of a century.’
That’s how chief executive Mark Catlin has described the launch of Pompey’s new training ground.
A 30-year lease has been signed with Roko to use the Copnor Road fitness centre, which will give the club a permanent training base in the city for the first time since the 1980s.
Speaking after the club unveiled its plans, Catlin explained the new facility would initially have two-and-a-half pitches – laid to the same specification as the Fratton Park surface – a new fitness and medical centre, changing rooms and a compound for the ground staff and machinery.
He said: “This is massive for the football club. The board has shown its commitment to creating a future legacy of this club with a significant six-figure sum.
“It is without doubt the most major infrastructure investment in the club since the Fratton End was rebuilt in the 1990s.
“The fact we have been able to make such an investment just one year into community ownership is incredible.
“As a club we all owe a debt of gratitude to the chairman, board of directors, individual presidents and the PST for making this dream a reality.
“I believe that the club has never really had a training ground it could call its own and I am very proud that we have finally put that right. It will make us a far more attractive proposition to prospective signings.
“As a result of this deal the club will have a training ground facility which will compare favourably with most in Leagues One and Two and many in the Championship.
Catlin revealed the training ground had been financed by a combination of investment from individual presidents – including a substantial contribution by lifelong Pompey fan Ian Silvester – and share capital raised by the Pompey Supporters’ Trust.
And he explained that the investment won’t stop there: “The next phase of this project is to take up an option on two further pitches to the east adjacent to the railway line and bring our youth academy down here.
“That will be a significant project in its own right. We are already looking at raising further capital to put towards this goal and the club will be launching an innovative crowdfunding project later in the summer to hopefully get the funds in place for work to start early next year.”
Pompey will continue to use the facility at the University of Portsmouth until the new Roko site is completed.
To download plans for the new training base, click here, here, here and here.